Design that Scales: Methods and best practices to grow gracefully


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Presentation done for Refresh the Triangle (, presented and hosted by Atlantic BT ( Three part presentation focused "On Growth Patterns: Building a foundation for expansion."

The creative’s perspective - Growth demands that your existing processes continuously adapt. Hear how the basics - such as a creative brief - merge with new techniques such as style boards, idea briefs, and co-design, to provide clients with visibility into their projects, preserve quality of the end product, and create the efficiency needed to scale.

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Design that Scales: Methods and best practices to grow gracefully

  1. 1. Design thatscales Methods and best practices to grow gracefully. 1
  2. 2. I am Eileen AllenSuper Mom, Photographer, Designer& Creative Director @ AtlanticBT @eileenallen 2
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  5. 5. Drink the kool aidProcess... Weʼre talking about process?! (Allen Iversonʼs voice)You have to buy into your process, but donʼt let it handcuff you. BRIEF research ideas solution production product 5
  6. 6. the setupThe days of starting your project on a blank Photoshop canvas aredone. It requires too much wasted time and energy. BRIEF research ideas 6
  7. 7. Our creative arsenalWhether you are a team of one, a small shop looking to expand, or amassive force, you can benefit from thorough planning. Client Brief / Worksheet Creative Brief Idea Brief Co-Design StyleboardThis collection of “setup” methods is meant to help us do one thing...Think Before We Do. 7
  8. 8. Client BriefThis is usually the first interaction a client has with our design team. It allows clients to share their hopes and dreams. The worksheet is meant to help clients self-evaluate, organize their thoughts, and share their preferences.    8
  9. 9. Example QuestionHow involved do you want to be in the design process of your site? I trust your expertise and leave the design decisions up to you. I would like to have a say in the design of my site. I know exactly what I want and would like you to follow my instructions. Visit Atlantic BTʼs Actual Worksheet 9
  10. 10. creative briefThis is NOT your grandmaʼs brief. Instead, we ask a series of fivequestions during the client kick off meeting. 10
  11. 11. creative brief Define purpose. Why do you feel like you need a site? Define sales process. How do you communicate who you are to clients? Define the users. Who is the site for? Define the end user goal (for each class if more than one). What is the desired action? Define the look and feel. Confirmation of client brief (theme, colourway, risk factor) 11
  12. 12. idea brief“An idea brief is a sentence, ortwo, that sums up the project andframes it as a problem statement.A question that needs an answer.” - Mark Boulton Source 12
  13. 13. idea briefActual examples of our previous brief briefs include: This client needs to distinguish themselves from the competition by making a complex process easy for customers to understand. This client needs the site to reflect the innovation in their technology, communicate how they are ahead of the curve in their industry, and highlight their credibility. This client needs a site design that better reflects their reputation and attract high-end clientele. 13
  14. 14. co-designCo-Design is a brainstorming session where the project teamcollaborates and share their perspective on the common goals. Use the idea brief to springboard into the co-design workshop.Co-Design can happen: You and a client You and another designer You and UX You and UX and marketing and PM You and all of the above The concept was adopted from Leah Buley, formerly of Adaptive Path. 14
  15. 15. co-designThe benefits of co-design sessionsinclude: No one comes in empty handed. Helps to prioritize elements and features. We identify/solve the layout through ideation. Everyone has a voice, because all ideas are good ideas. Bada-bing: Wireframe! 15
  16. 16. style boardItʼs like if a style guide and a mood board had a baby!Have you ever had a client: Be surprised by your design choices? Ever point out that you used the wrong kind of camo for the background of their military equipment catalog site?To prevent these surprises and potentially embarrassing mistakes,we start with style boards to help the client visualize our directionbefore we begin designing. 16
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  19. 19. style boardThe key benefits of a style board include: Eliminates surprises. Designers are better prepared. Avoids designing in a vacuum. 19
  20. 20. sharing is caring 20
  21. 21. THank You 21
  22. 22. Photo Credits 22