As soon as you start working with a design tool, you’ll figure a lot of stuff on the go. However, having a comprehensive knowledge base which you can benefit from in the long-term goes a long way. If you’re just starting, I recommend going through a sophisticated course that will lead you through design basics.
Today, let’s talk about what you should never leave out when working on any project. I have gained these insights during many years of my professional practice. Hopefully they will clarify some of the questions you might ask yourself.
1. Research is crucial. Before you start, ask away
When communicating with your client, you should always prepare a set of questions to ask them. These are mostly data-related and if the client doesn’t have them, then it’s your job to obtain them. Being prepared makes all the difference between a vague and highly effective design.
You have to put in the work and start researching the end customers. Who are they? What is their average age? What are their needs? What are their expectations?
Knowing about the most used device is equally important. For example, if the users prefer phones over computers, you know that the design should be highly functional and preferably as minimalistic as possible. User patience on phones is significantly lower than on computers. If they’re not engaged within the first seconds of opening the presentation, you probably lose them.
2. Find your ideal flow
Everybody is different and needs something else in order to stay productive. Some might prefer working from the office, while other individuals prefer working from home. Being surrounded by plants may boost your productivity, while someone else needs more of a sterile environment.
The same goes for the digital environment. There are many productivity tools and time / team management apps. Browse through the solutions and find the one that is suitable for your needs. Some great apps that I have used include Asana, Trello, ClickUp, Jira and Basecamp. These are great all-around, but all of them have a bit different layout and functions.
For more simple tasks, Todoist is my go-to app. It’s mind blowingly intuitive, functional and reliable. If you want to start using it, click on this link.
There are also tools dedicated to sophisticated team communication only with Slack being the most popular.
If you want to stay as organized as possible, a sophisticated app for taking notes will come in handy as well. Among other things, I use it to compile product documentation so it’s easier to track the adjustments I have made in the presentation. If you update it as you work, you will have a much better overview about what was and needs to be done. I recommend Notion or Confluence for these purposes.
However, nothing is as important as choosing the right graphic tool. There are professionals that swear by using just one and others who know a bit about many of them and choose the right one based on individual project requirements. If you’re just starting with your journey, remember to try Figma, Sketch and Adobe XD.
What other tools will you need? Well, that depends on you and the client. For example, you may make use of some photo-editing software. If that’s the case, focus on preparing the element library right about now.