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Webucator's Free Managing Web Design Projects Tutorial

Lesson: Design Process

Welcome to our free Managing Web Design Projects tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Managing Web Design Projects course.

Proper management of a project will ensure a smooth project and a happy customer. This process has four phases and we will explore them in this course. The phases consist of preproject tasks, planning, production, and postproduction.

Lesson Goals

  • To define the preproject tasks.
  • To define the planning phase.
  • To define the production phase work flow.
  • To define the postproduction wrapup.

Preproject Tasks

Preproject Tasks

Preproject tasks consist of the basic understanding of the various types of responsibilities required of the project. These tasks may include creating the project scope, planning for mockups, planning for the functionality, production, integration steps, reports, and postanalysis. A good understanding of the skill sets and knowledge needed to perform these tasks will help in choosing the proper team.

When choosing a team, we should make sure to communicate a clearly defined list of responsibilities and needs for the project. This list will become the benchmark and expectation that the team members will use to gauge the amount of time and their availability in order to perform the tasks in a timely manner. As we gather and collect the feedback from our team, we will have a better idea of the total time it will take to complete the project.

The more accurate the estimate, the easier it is to set the stage for a successful project.

Planning Phase

Planning-Phase Process

The planning-phase portion of the project can be handled in two ways. We may plan on using a top-down or bottom-up approach. Each of these approaches has pros and cons based on the thought process of the individual. One is not necessarily better or worse, just different.

Top-down Approach

The top-down approach is one used when we have a big-picture idea that needs to be refined into the individual details. Lightbulb Pointing to Design Page

Bottom-up Approach

The bottom-up approach is one used when we have individual details that needs to be refined into a big-picture idea. Lightbulbs Pointing Up to Design Page

Plan Implementation

When we implement the plan, we will be using two different types of technology to organize and share the individual steps with both our internal audience (Microsoft Project) and our external client (FreedCamp.com). If we are not working with an internal group of coworkers, we may use the external process of sharing to organize production steps.

Example Microsoft Project PlanExample Microsoft Project plan.

Example of FreedCamp.comExample FreedCamp.com

Production-Phase Work Flow

Production-Phase Process

During the production of the project, we will need to coordinate and communicate in the most efficient manner possible in order to ensure a timely project. The production work should be broken out into individual phases. These phases will then be used as a way to stay on target and have a big picture look at the entire process.

Four main phases:

Preproject PhasePreproject

Planning PhasePlanning

Production PhaseProduction

Postproduction PhasePostproduction

Postproduction Wrapup

Postproduction Process

Once a project is completed, studying the outcome can help you better understand future projects. The project plan is in some ways just a hope of how things may happen. When we compare the reality, we tend to learn how to proceed in the future.

Understanding the Design Process

Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

In this exercise, you will answer a few questions about the design process.

  1. What are two approaches one may take to plan a project? Are there benefits to one verses another?
  2. What are the four main phases of a project life cycle?
  3. Name some of the ways to implement a plan.

Solution:

  1. Two possible approaches are to use a top-down, or a bottom-up thought process. There are no benefits to either approach - most will use a combination of the two.
  2. The four main phases are preproject tasks, planning, production, and postproduction.
  3. Many options exist - use of software like Microsoft Project or free online solutions such as www.freedcamp.com are great ways to share expectations and files with others.