Process, yawn. Just the word sounds boring. I used to think that. Actually, who am I kidding? I love process; I love when things follow an order and ducks are in a row. It makes me downright gleeful. However, I understand others may not feel the same way. With that in mind, I’m setting out to change some minds … or at least help others understand why process makes my heart sing.
When it comes to design, there is much that can be subjective, and beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder. Not that this is a problem. In fact, it’s the nature of the industry, which is why we understand that not everyone will fall head over heels in design love at first sight. This alone highlights the need for rock-solid process. When process is integrated into design, there’s a higher likelihood that you will find design love. It affords you, the client, a safety net of checks and balances, thwarts potential scope concerns and ensures projects go from A to B as efficiently as possible. Wins all around, I’d say. Let me break it down in a few quick bullets as to how simply following a flow will help make everything groovy (see what I did there).
(Rhyme and) Reason 1: There is a rhyme AND a reason to this
Seriously, there is a rhyme and a reason to why process matters in every project we do, from the smallest GIF ad to the largest website. Think of it this way: When you build a house, you can’t start painting the walls until you’ve poured the foundation. The same goes for design and marketing projects. When we systematically walk through a project, we can catch smaller fixes along the way that, if left unchecked, could impede the successful completion of the project further down the road.
(Rhyme and) Reason 2: Process makes perfect
Much like practice makes perfect, so does process. During the last nine years, we’ve discovered that when there are pre-determined steps in a project, clients are happier, projects are completed on time and budgets don’t go bust. By following a process, clients are always aware of what is going on in their project, they know the next steps and understand that step one will affect step two. This affords them the opportunity to raise concerns early and have them adjusted before the project moves too far down the path.
When a concern isn’t raised early on, it has a domino effect on a project. For example, in a website, it’s critical that the header and footer get approval in the initial wireframe iteration. If a change is needed once the project is multi-pages deep in design or development, the alteration becomes more detrimental to the timeline and the budget because it affects more pages.
(Rhyme and) Reason 3: To process or not, that is NEVER the question
Process isn’t something that we recommend ever NOT doing. To be honest, if you are concerned that process will stifle creativity or be detrimental to a project, we’d probably have to disagree with you (and by probably, I mean we would). Process actually enhances a project and directs creativity in a positive, effective manner. When we know what you like from research (the first step in our process), we can more quickly create designs that hit the nail on the head.
So what do you say? Have I at least made process sound a bit more romantic? Or are you at least willing to try going from point A to point B with me? I promise it’ll be super-duper fun.