Every each of us is interested in becoming a better person. It’s the fundament of the human evolution and every serious web design blog should offers tips about how to become better designers to readers. It’s simple to say, but could you practically turn into a better designer? Much more, how could someone compare two layouts and decide that one is better than the other? It’s a subjective matter and it’s impossible to offer a clear algorithm of determining the best website. Instead, a better designer is very efficient. A designer creates a good website in just few days while others need more time. We may objectively state that the first one is more efficient and perhaps even better. Being efficient supposes to have a well done workflow and it’s a way more objective entity to judge than simply being “better”!
We really care about our readers and we tried to offer precious tips about how to improve their workflows. As a consequence, we will present you eight amazing tips that will help in improving your workflow. Also, it will be great to get your own contribution and we strongly encourage participating in the discussion.
#1. Only YOU can improve the workflow
If you want to improve your workflow, then the first step must be the acceptance that only YOU are the only one responsive for this fact. There are some environmental factors, but YOU are the only one that really matters. Paradoxically, the improving workflow equation has many terms, but all may be ignored, except the own inner force. It’s worldwide accepted that becoming better isn’t an easy task and it imposes making constant sacrifices. Are you prepared?
#2. A “to do” list is capital
Being prepared for making sacrifices isn’t enough and a “to do” list is mandatory. It doesn’t matter very much if it is about your daily, weekly or monthly tasks. The decisive aspect is to respect this list! It’s very important to establish realistic deadlines, maybe here lies the key of a “to do” list. This list must be balanced- not too many items to make the life a hell, but more enough to assure the base of a solid progress. Personally, I estimate the weekly hours I may work, then I estimate the duration of each items added into the “to do” list. Of course, the weekly working hours must be equal with the length sum of the projects to do. It’s not a rocket science tip, but it will help a lot with improving the workflow.
#3. Time management is a top priority
Another precious tip to improve the workflow is to responsible track the time. Unfortunately, it’s the single item that can’t be purchased, so every designer should treat their time very seriously. Tracking time software must be one of the “best friends” of a designer and we already proposed some to you.
Definitely, time management is a very serious matter and paying attention to this fact will have consistent influence over the workflow improvement.
#4. Master your skills of getting breaks
A common mistake of many designers is to believe that fully focusing on work will transform them into great experts. This approach will have (maybe) positive effects on the short time perspective, but on the medium and long term perspective it will have very negative effects. Breaks are as important as the working periods. It’s scientifically proven that working many hours without a break will have negative impact over the health and the effective power will be extremely low. In conclusion, the key is to intensively work for one-two hours and take a break. How many hours per day are you working and how many breaks do you take?
#5. Distribute some annoying tasks
Every designer has some favourite/annoying activities. Instead of wasting time for accomplishing annoying tasks, a wise designer, willing to improve his workflow, will delegate these for other people. It doesn’t mean that a designer that does only simple, but “lovely” tasks has improved considerably his workflow. The correct idea is to distribute to other people the unpleasant tasks but make more and better what you like the most.
#6. Make clear separation between work and relaxation
Honestly, I have checked very frequently my Facebook account during work and I’m aware that it has a negative influence over my workflow. Willing or not, we must accept that once someone decided to improve his workflow, these distractions as Facebook or Twitter must “disappear”. It’s very difficult to give up to these small relaxations…I consider that these are the “junk food” of a freelancer; you know that they aren’t good, but the temptation can’t be beaten.
#7. Customize the working space
The workflow is dependent on the inner state of the subject, therefore if the designer is in good mood, then it’s very probable that he will work better. The working space has a great influence over the morale of the designer and it’s a sin to neglect this aspect. Fortunately, the human brain doesn’t need expensive and extravagant ecosystems to work better. It’s enough a clean and relaxing office to stimulate the brain. In conclusion, never ignore the working space and make it more attractive- in this way, you will be more attracted to stay at work. In fact, it will be a relaxation and not a boring job.
#8. Never give up!
It’s very simple to write: “starting from tomorrow, I will have an improved workflow”, putting it in practice is very difficult. I believe that each of us should try to be more efficient and many designers really care about this fact. Altogether, each major achievement hides a huge volume of work and improving the workflow isn’t an exception. There will be moments when you will prefer to abandon this “transformation”. The entire life is an up and down series, so it’s impossible not to have less pleasant moments. The solution is still to try to improve the workflow, no matter the context.
If you are a very pragmatic person you will consider this post a waste of time – it doesn’t contain new tips about responsive design or new Photoshop secret practices. I fell in the same trap a little time ago and I really want to help other designers that are doing the same mistake. The above mentioned tips are apparently not important, but by respecting them, the outcome will have a positive contribution to the designer workflow. The idea is that the outcome is a long time perspective one, and people prefer instant results. I ask every each of you to share with us your specials tips to improve your workflow…the more, the better.
– Written by Daniel –