Catching an error on your web design during the design phase can save you many problems and concerns as you move forward. No matter what type of website you have, catching everything from spelling errors to links that go to the wrong place can really help you. It will be less expensive to catch a mistake up front, especially if it is listed on the costs page.
One of the best tools you have to do this is a design review. These reviews have been designed to look over everything that comes from a web designer. It is a critical step not only for the company, but for the designer themselves as well.
Here are the four simple steps you can take to ensure everything looks how you want it to:
1. Ask Outside Your Circle
Build a team of reviewers that you can go to for reviews. Whether this is other designers or just trusted friends, you have to include people who are not familiar with your design. Work on until you think it is done and then ask your friends to review it. Make sure that those people know that you are open to hearing what they have to say and that you aren’t going to take offense.
Record what people have to say and take their advice so that you can improve.
2. Don’t Be Emotionally Attached
Whether you are completing the review for yourself or doing it at the advice of others, don’t be too emotional. Sure, you may really like the idea that you had or you may have spent some time on it, but you have to do what is best for the design. Try to look at your design as if you were an outside, not a parent who thinks nothing can be wrong with your baby.
If you really do like something, save it to another document and put it into a folder of ideas.
3. Take and Keep Notes
It doesn’t matter how you take your notes – on voice messages on your phone, as text messages, on paper, or in Word documents – just keep them for as long as you work. Create a place where you can put your work to look back on it when you need to.
Use those notes for all of the reviews you do. You’ll start to see trends for the parts where you make changes frequently. It is also a great place to put new ideas that you have or to keep those ideas that you scrapped in step 2.
4. Act As Soon As You Can
After every meeting, every discussion, and even every thought, you need to act as soon as you can on your project. Making changes when the decisions and discussions are freshest in your mind will lend itself to creating higher quality designs and products.
If you don’t act right away, it may hinder some of your progress and cause you to be too emotionally attached to your designs.
When you act, document it. Create another file that highlights all of the changes you’ve done. For high profile clients, consider using screenshots or side-by-sides so that they can see the difference. Whatever you do, start reviewing as you work on the project and don’t stop until right before you hand it over.