By Carly Ries
To stay current with the ever-changing digital landscape, many companies are finding they're in need of a web redesign every few years. If you're one of these companies, you'll want to streamline the process as much as possible, which means effectively communicating with your design team. The best way to do this is to set up a process that leaves very little room for error throughout the website redesign. Consider the following points when getting started.
Use a Project Management System
If you take one thing away from this blog post it's this...Don't.Rely.On.Email. People get busy and miss emails. Messages get lost in spam. Miscommunication is a given. To ensure nothing falls through the cracks through your website redesign, it's imperative that you use a project management system to ensure all communication is tracked and located in one place. This way, everybody is always in the loop with the current status of the project and you don't have to deal with the email jungle.
During a website redesign, there will most likely be a team of account managers involved, clients (if you're not doing the design for your own company), and a team of designers. It can get messy if all the cooks are in the kitchen. Assign a POC from each team, ideally one POC that will give all the feedback from the client side, one account manager, and one project manager representing the design team. This will help streamline feedback and allow for clear contacts should something arise.
Develop a Creative Brief
The purpose of the creative brief is to get all of the project details into one document. If you are doing the redesign for a client, ensure they contribute to this document as well to ensure goals and objectives are clearly laid out for the design team. At a minimum, the creative brief should include:
- A description of the buyer persona the site is intended for
- Goals and objectives
- Site requirements
- A detailed timeline
- POC information
These are the basics. You should tailer your brief to your specific project to ensure you include absolutely everything the design team would need to know.
Schedule a Kickoff Call
To ensure all questions are answered and there isn't any ambiguity in what is requested, it's important to set up a call with the design team, project manager, and client (if applicable). The purpose of this meeting will be to walk through the process, review the creative brief, and set expectations. Everybody should be on the same page and their should be a clear direction when you leave the meeting.
Get Approval Throughout Every Stage of the Process
As the design and development team begin the wireframes, sitemaps, etc., it's important that the POC gives approval at each stage of the project before the next stage begins. If you have any questions, it's important to communicate them to the team during that stage. For example, once the sitemap and wireframes are approved, that should be a green light to begin development, and the client, or POC, should have the understanding that there is no turning back at that point (at least not without a price or timeline delay). Feedback should be given to the design team at each phase so everything can be addressed in real time.
Say Thank You
The best way to communicate with the design team? Say thank you. Cheesy? Sure. But the fact of the matter is this team is more likely than not bending over backwards for you. While they're putting in the long hours and living on coffee, show your gratitude. They're doing all of this to make sure you and your company look good.
As long as you have an established process, the communication with your designers should flow naturally. What have you found to be effective when communicating with your design team?