Map Out Your Step-By-Step Design Process

 
 Designers- are you stumbling through your design process? Have you mapped out your process on paper (or onscreen), or have you never bothered to because you don't have time? Click on this pin to find out the danger with having a process in your mind and not written down. #Design, #Freelance, #Streamlining & Automating, #Design Process, #Business

Are you unsure what steps to include in your web and graphic design process?

Not sure whether you should offer two revision rounds or three?

Wish you could peek at other freelance web designers processes to see if yours matches up?

In today’s video and article, I’m going to help you see the exact steps you should be including in your web or graphic design process and how to document it somewhere you won't forget it.

Download The Free Design Process Cheatsheet

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Map out your brand & web design process

My exact design process is in the free cheatsheet above. Download it if you think you'd like to see an example before you create your own!

Here's a breakdown of the sections you should include in your design process. 

Pre-work

These are the tasks that need to be done before you start designing. These tasks are usually for your client to complete and include things like:

  • Handing over the text & photos for their website

  • Completing the design questionnaire you gave them

  • Filling a Pinterest board with visual inspiration

Ask yourself - what do you need from the client before you can start designing? What do you need to do to prepare for a successful project? Would it be helpful to hop on Skype/Zoom and discuss the client's completed questionnaire before you begin designing?

The key to having a successful project is making sure you and your client are both fully prepared. Click to tweet!

Mapping out the pre-work will make sure you are armed with all the files and information you need to begin.

Branding

In this part of the process, I want you to map out every little task you go through. 

Ask yourself - how many initial logo concepts are you going to send your client? How many revision rounds are included? How many logo variations will you create? How do you usually start the branding process, and how do you end it?

Write down everything you usually include in your branding process, then go through it and see if there's anything you left out, or anything that could be added to improve your process. 

It's especially important to map this part of your process out because there are usually a lot of revision rounds here. When you've documented how many revision rounds you include etc, it's easier to keep track of how many you complete as you go through your projects. 

Website Design

Ask yourself - how many revisions should I include? Should I create a mockup of the website first in Illustrator/Photoshop, or should I just design on the live website? Will I add the client's copy to the website or not? Am I going to be responsible for spellchecking their website or not? How will my client be able to view the website? How will I transfer the website over to my client? 

If you can, get as detailed as you can when mapping out your design process. 

Wrap-up

This is the final stage of your design process. At this point, you need to decide if you are going to wait for their final payment to go through before giving them their final files. (I definitely recommend it.)

Are you going to offer your clients tech support for a specified period of time? Are you going to give them access to a client area on your website? Are you going to offer them a one-on-one training session? How are you going to send them their final files?

Give this part of your process real thought. If you end your process quickly and unprofessionally, it can tarnish the experience for your client. You want to make sure your client feels happy and excited about working with you right through to the very end of your process.


Where should you map out your design process?

I like to map my process out in my project management tool, Asana, so I can follow my process again and again with each new project and tick off tasks as my client and I complete them. 

Here’s what it looks like:

asana.png

Not sure how to use a project management tool with your clients? I have a free course that’ll teach you how! Join below.

Project management asana course (1).png
 

Nesha Woolery

I build beautiful brands & websites for passionate entrepreneurs!