If you’re a website developer, whether you’re working solo as a freelancer or you’ve got an employment contract with a company, you’ll possibly come up against obstacles that have to do both with design creativity and work deadlines. Not to worry though, this kind of thing is common and with a little persistent effort can be completely overcome.
Follow through on the following seven deadline and creativity tips and you’ll see how you can improve your creative design and make sure it’s always handed to the client on time.
Keeping Designs Creative
As the web advances, so does the architecture and appearance of the websites found on it. Each new generation or trend of designs is (usually) an improvement from previous versions; more functional, more elegant, faster loading and prettier. To keep up with this, or better yet, create your own distinct design ideas, you’ll need to maintain your creativity and give it plenty of exercise:
1. Seek Inspiration
Keep your eyes open constantly for interesting new designs, ideas and code snippets that create cool effects. Make a bookmarks reference list of web pages that are well made and gave you ideas for cool designs of your own; additionally, create an RSS feed of design oriented websites that regularly post new design tips and ideas or updates on new code developments such as HTML5.
2. Use Clean Code
Clean code is naturally more elegant and less messy than the cluttered mess some sites can end up producing; it’s also less likely to contain errors that spoil the website in some way. Use clean code and your pages will be that much easier to design or modify elegantly when an idea strikes you.
3. Focus on Simplicity
Creative, eye-catching designs are usually best when they’re also done simply and without too many visual distractions. Your page designs should avoid glaring visuals and focus on creating a visual display that focuses the reader towards the desired content. With simplicity in mind, you can more easily create diverse creative and modern designs without devolving into either tack or an overdose of distracting colors.
4. Avoid Distracting Animations and Flash
It’s very easy to get so caught up in overly distracting or confusing visuals a desire to create something uniquely creative. Making this mistake is easiest in cases where a website developer strays from simplicity and puts together a website that inescapably starts with a massive amount of flash animations or opens up to videos and animations that play automatically. Both tactics are not really creative, they’re just annoying most of the time, avoid them and keep your creativity functional, make it part of a straightforward and helpful browsing experience.
Getting a Handle on Deadlines
Your website design projects can easily get you completely quagmire in backlogs of work if you’re not both organized and careful in managing deadlines. To do this effectively you need to create a simple strategy for managing workflow and the following few tips can help you with that:
5. Keep your Deadlines Realistic
As you gain programming experience, you’ll start to have a feel for how long any one project should take; you’ll also start to have a decent idea of what you can expect from clients in terms of demanding modifications or changes. Keep both in mind to give realistic finishing times that give you plenty of space to work comfortably in without feeling pressured or rushed. An even better idea is to give clients a finishing time that’s longer than you expect and beat it, thus creating a favorable impression of being a designer who beats his own deadlines.
6. Schedule your Time Strictly
One of the biggest sources of delays and missed deadlines is a lack of a strictly followed work schedule. It’s easy to fall into this as a freelancer that spends much of their time working at home and without supervision. Don’t let it be the case. Pretend you’re in a real office environment and create specific hours (preferably your most distraction free time slots) in which you do your work, leaving the rest of your day mostly free for relaxation. This will make everything flow so much faster than random and ad hoc work habits could.
7. Break Big Projects Down
Viewing a large web design project as a single solid job can turn it into a daunting task that’s easy to procrastinate on and difficult to schedule for completion -don’t do this. Instead, break your major projects down into a small and sequential series of easily actionable steps that individually take up only small slots of time. Work on these steps one at a time and take relaxing little breaks in between them. Your entire project will flow that much faster and more easily.
Both creativity and deadline planning are not extremely hard to effectively take care of if you put a bit of strategic effort into them. And both are completely worth that strategic effort – since both better scheduling your time and strategizing your creativity into an actionable process can dramatically improve your productivity and the speed with which you create your website marvels for clients.