At Evolve we are forever requesting that our design partners involve us in their digital projects as quickly as possible – not so we can charge more money (in most cases we don’t) but to help our creative partners make the right decisions early on in the project. This ensures that we can develop the project to the exact design and guarantees the end client understands exactly what they are paying for.
So below I’ve put together the top seven things that would help us (ourselves and our creative partners) achieve this and provide the very best service and project outcome for both you and your clients:
1/ Pre Design Phase
Why not let us sense check the sitemaps and wireframes? Another pair of eyes is always helpful in spotting inconsistencies and errors. We may see something that’s not right or come up with a slicker way of doing something.
Same as point one, it’s really useful if we can see the designs before the client does, this way we can ensure that what’s been designed can be achieved within the agreed budget. Using our knowledge of functionality and creative flare, we may have a simpler or more effective way of accomplishing your goals, or we might even offer up cooler ways of doing something.
3/ Grid Systems
If your website needs to be responsive, and most of them do, designing to a grid system makes creating the pages digitally a lot easier. We currently use Bootstrap as our framework of choice for this, it is a well understood, mobile friendly, method of producing websites for all screen sizes.
When delivering designs it’s really useful if we can get them all at once, with the assets separated. This allows us to check everything in at once and speed up the process. It also allows us to spot if anything is missing.
5/ Agree a Date to Show the Client
There aren’t many things more irritating to a developer than being asked after 3 days work ‘the end client wants to see how we’re getting on, is there anything they can see yet?’. Invariably there won’t be as the developer will need to build the architecture of the site before the pages – and without final content and correctly sized images most templates will look distinctly sub-par. The nice stuff that the end client wants to see is usually some of the last work undertaken.
Once the designs are signed off, I would recommend getting all parties to agree a date when the end client can view the project. It’s also worth allowing a little additional time from the date the developer gives you to allow for adding content and any bugs or issues you might spot that can be fixed before hand over of the test site to the client.
6/ Bugs and Amends
Now we all know there are going to be some bugs and amends and how these are dealt with can make a huge difference to the project. Every development team will have a different process for this, at Evolve we provide 2 rounds of amends and fixes, we suggest the first round is used by our creative partners to ensure the project looks and performs how they expect it to and the second round is used by the end client. We also recommend using a collaborative tool such as Trello or Bug Herd to keep all the issues in one place.
7/ Describe Issues
We get, on a weekly basis, feedback from a partner or end client saying something like ‘there’s a problem with an image on the site’. Now this statement may very well be true but we need some more information to deal with it sensibly. The basic information a developer would like to receive is – What is the expected functionality, what’s the page url, what are you viewing it on, platform and browser, have you got a screen shot? With that basic information we would have a significantly better chance of finding and fixing the problem.
If the above points are heeded the project will run infinitely smoother providing an excellent experience for the end client and a good prospect at receiving further work from them for both the creative and development teams.
If you’d like to know more about how we work at Evolve please contact one of our team on 0333 5775253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org