Refining the graphic design workflow III

Refining the graphic design workflow III
24 August 2023     856

Refining the graphic design workflow III

Today we will share with you some tips on how to refine your workflow and make your projects more efficient and enjoyable. Whether you work alone or in a team, having a good workflow can make a huge difference in your productivity, creativity and satisfaction. We have already discussed the topic twice before (1, 2), as is clear from the title, but there is more to be said. So, lets get started!

1. Timeline sketch

One of the first things you should do when you start a new project is to create a timeline sketch. Which is a rough outline of the main milestones, deadlines and deliverables of your project. It does not have to be very detailed or accurate, but it should give you a general idea of how long each task will take and what order they should be done in.

It can help you plan ahead, anticipate potential problems and adjust your workflow accordingly. E.g., if you know that a certain task is likely to take longer than expected, you will have a more accurate idea about how that reflects on the rest of the project. Or, if you see that there is a gap between two tasks, you can use that time to work on something else or take a break.

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2. Check Conflicts

Seeking feedback is obviously one of the more important ways of refining your workflow. Which can include seeking feedback from your colleagues, clients, users or anyone else who is involved or interested in your work. That can help you address blind spots, identify inconsistencies, and discover new perspectives or ideas.

It can also help you avoid conflicts between different workflows or unintended consequences of your actions. E.g., if you are working on a website design, you might want to get feedback from the developers, the content writers and the end-users to make sure that your design is compatible with their needs and expectations. Or, if you are working on a marketing campaign, you might want to get feedback from the sales team, the customers and even the competitors (if that is a viable option) to make sure that your campaign is effective and original.

3. Hierarchize

If you work in a team, refining your workflow also means coordinating with your teammates and creating a clear hierarchy of tasks. Everyone should know what their role and responsibilities are, what tasks they need to do and when they need to do them. The priorities between the tasks should be made as clear as possible, too.

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One way to create a clear hierarchy of tasks is to use tools like Kanban boards, Gantt charts or To-do lists that can help you visualize and organize your work. Another way is to automate some of the tasks that are repetitive, tedious or low-value, such as sending emails, scheduling meetings or updating reports.

4. Redesigning

Sticking with a workflow can prove to be quite challenging. A lot of the times you are gonna have to tinker with it. When redesigning your workflow, should be careful not to disrupt the existing one too much or create new problems for yourself or others.

One way to avoid this is to identify the dependencies and peripheral effects of your changes. Dependencies are the tasks or elements that depend on each other or influence each other in some way. Peripheral effects are the consequences or impacts of your changes on other aspects of your project or organization. For example, if you decide to change the software that you use for your project, you should consider how this will affect the compatibility with other software, the training needs of your team members, the security risks of your data, etc.

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5. Culture

Finally, refining your workflow is not only about the technical or practical aspects of your work, but also about the social and emotional ones. The culture of your organization or team can have a significant effect on your workflow, as well as on your motivation, satisfaction, etc. Vice versa, how you go about work flows contributes to your culture.

So do not treat your workflow as a mere tool to try to maximize output or profits, or whatever along those lines. Try to understand what would be a good way to carry out your task, whether money is involved or not, and compromise where you have to.