It can be tempting to pursue a solitary design process and attempt to keep control over as much of the project as possible. But while it may appear easier to get the job done alone, the end result would suffer through a lack of input from other areas. The overall process is a collaborative effort and it needs to run as seamlessly as possible.
Developing a comprehensive plan
When embarking on a design project, regardless of the design software and other factors, you need a comprehensive plan to ensure that all elements come together in an efficient, streamlined manner. And the key to this is planning.
The first stage of planning any design project is to develop a creative brief to give an outline of the desired end result. This will entail gathering as much information as possible about the client and what it is they want to achieve. And if the client comes already prepared with their own brief, then take the time to go through it with them and highlight any issues that may arise.
Timelines and tasks can be assigned so everybody knows what they are doing and by what date. There’s nothing worse than team members pulling in different directions without a clear blueprint to follow.
Automation is an integral part of getting things done with maximum efficiency. Nobody needs to be chasing tasks manually. Workflow management and communication programs are there to make your life easier so everyone can see exactly what is happening and who is in charge of what aspects. Messages can be sent instantly throughout the workgroup to keep everyone on track.
Choosing the right software
Choosing the right software to streamline your workflow is essential. Getting it wrong not only wastes money but can also cause big delays that design firms can ill afford.
Many companies choose to use cloud-based platforms that allow users to shape their own workflow environment through the use of no-code applications that are simple to create. And you can even borrow other people’s app designs to get started straight away. Managing a project can be more efficient when your software has effectively been designed from the ground up to suit specific needs and functionality.
All-in-one solutions like these allow teams to plan, organise and integrate other parts of their projects to keep everything in one place. That way, there’s never any confusion about the project direction and who is responsible for each part.
Choose software extensions and tools carefully
Many tools and extensions are available for workflow management programs. When used wisely, they can assist with various parts of the project process. But add too many bells and whistles and the adverse effect could become evident.
It’s possible to integrate a wealth of popular programs such as Dropbox, Outlook, Slack, Zoom and many more.
Creating an effective design process whereby collaborators are able to focus on their own specific tasks without distraction is of the highest importance. Members of the team should be encouraged to disable any alerts and alarms for certain periods while they are concentrating on a specific action. Constant interruptions result in a negative workflow so only contact people when 100% necessary and make yourself unavailable at key moments when parts of a project need your full attention.
Using templates and repurposing assets
There is no need to start from the beginning every time a new project arises. Many of the early phases in the project creation process are fairly standard across the board. Look for ways in which old resources can be recycled to save time and money.
Refining your design
It is natural that changes will need to be made to your designs. But rather than constantly updating designers with small amendments, make a list of things that need to be done and communicate them all at once. This gives the design team a chance to make time for changes and work them into their part of the project plan.
Optimising designs for 3D printing or online display
Designs need to be prepared so that they are easy to share with the relevant people. If designs are to be reproduced on a 3D printer or displayed online, various settings need to be chosen to optimise the process. Make sure that file formats are correct, no obvious style and brand omissions have been made, and if designs are to be launched through social media, plan the launch in advance.
At the end of the project, it should be recognised that it was a team effort. As such, ensure that all relevant members are praised for their collaboration and highlight the achievements that have been made along the way.
Having multiple inputs in a single project doesn’t have to be difficult to organise. When responsibility is handed over to those who are best placed to fulfil the task, other team members are freed up to concentrate on the things that they do best. This makes for a happier work environment and ensures better results.