Don't think about that yet

By Micah Slavens on Sept. 10, 2010

Keeping projects on task can be a challenge. To ensure things keep moving, you need to help your clients (and team) know when to think and when to move on.

Well planned projects move through strategic phases.

We take our clients from discovery, where we get to know them and their business, to planning & strategy, where we plan an conceptualize, to design, build & launch, where it all comes together. The process works like a charm. Even so, sometimes we find ourselves in a meeting answering questions we didn’t intend to answer or heading into discussions that should come later in the process.

This can be avoided.

Make sure everyone understands the goal of each stage of the process.

When presenting concepts or phase related documents, make sure the client knows what the purpose is, and (sometimes more importantly) what it isn’t. If the point of an exercise is to make sure you’ve determined all the parts of a page, that should be stated. If it’s to get a sense of the aesthetic feel, that should be said.

Seven rules to plan by.

  1. Before wireframing, make sure everyone is clear on the basic “anatomy” of each page.
  2. Start rough. It’s easier for people to think big picture when there is less distraction.
  3. Make sure everyone understands that wireframes or sketches do not address graphic design or wording.
  4. When reviewing full color mockups (photoshop proofs), sometimes people need to be reminded that it’s not a website.
  5. Design mockups are there to establish look and feel and to provide the basis for graphic assets for the website.
  6. When technical or messaging questions come up in design planning, make sure to list them.
  7. Acknowledging questions helps clients and team members to understand what needs to be answered now and what can be discussed later.

Micah Slavens

Principal

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