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Let’s talk about design timelines

We need to talk to about timelines..  whether it’s creating an app or redesigning a website it’s one of those things that kind of gets slipped in at the last minute.  And because I’ve had WAY too many clients asking for things tomorrow I’m going to outline how and why it takes me a certain amount of time to do specific tasks and the truth behind how long it actually takes to build a WordPress site.

So, as you may or may not know, I’ve been in the web design and development industry for over 10 years now and have built many MANY sites for small businesses to corporates and there is something that is consistent in all of them.

There is no easy way to a truly custom built website that is built the right way.

Ok, so you might find your cousin’s best friend’s brother who knows a bit of the HTMLs that can do it in a week but the truth is, you will always sacrifice something.  Even if you can’t see it.

A quickly built website will often miss the mark on what you truly wanted because both you or the developer weren’t clear on what exactly what you were wanting and is why it’s important to go through a step by step process to a build.

I’ll give you an example.

A really fast way to load images to your website is to download them off your camera, and simply upload them to your website.  Directly from the download.

However, the way that I DO IT and how others SHOULD do it is to OPTIMIZE the images first.

You: What what does that mean Tania?

Well, it means that you need to do these 3 things.

  1. Resize the image to max 1000px wide.
    Images on the web have a lower resolution than print so resize it and make it 72dpi
  2. Rename the file
    If you’ve taken my course ‘SEO Bootcamp’ then you’ll know that renaming the name of your image file is key to on-page SEO.  So rename it accurately with your keywords ideally.
  3. Run a filter on it to add a touch of your brand to it
    Images get shared on the web.  This should not be news to you – so whenever you upload images to your website, make sure that it’s got a consistent filter to it so users can easily recognise your brand and maintain a consistent look and feel across your website.

So that alone would take maybe 3 times as much time as loading it up directly.  The benefit is that your website loads faster for your users, and you start looking like a pro that has a consistent look and feel across the brand board.

Secondly, it’s important to note that the more detailed a project is the longer it’ll take.  And the person you get to do it will also determine the timeframe.  Take a look at the project on the left vs the one on the right below.

Websites are no different.

big house vs little house.

So, going back to the steps I take to create a website.

Below is a list of what I actually do.  Some of which have sub-steps and that’s just for a basic, SEO optimised and effective website.

Web Development Tasks.

The next thing that affects timelines is YOU.

That’s right, the BIGGEST part of a web development or app design is how quickly you can come back to me or you development about what you are after (the brief) and the revisions on the design and development.  Each step requires sign off by you and sometimes this can take WEEKS.

Business can easily get in the way and the best way to get around this is to have regular catch-up meetings to ensure I’m on the right path and we’re getting exactly what’s in your head – out in the digital world.

Ensuring that you have access to a tool like Asana also helps with communication and knowing where the design/development is app at any stage.  You also get a timeline in a proposal document so you know from the start how long things SHOULD take.

And, that doesn’t include changes which again will push out the timeline of course.

So hopefully this has helped you gain a better understanding of how long things should take with Web Design & Development or UI design.

Please comment below if you have any questions or have something to contribute to this topic.

To start a project with me, please take a look at my portfolio and get in contact here.

Tania Richardson web designer.

Author avatar
Tania
https://taniarichardson.com
15 years as a digital designer. Author and Director of Richardson Creative, that helps start-ups and large organisations use design and data to design the best online experience for their business.

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