October 8, 2019
You’ve probably heard it before, but deadlines – in general – are pretty dang important! Especially in business. If you want my opinion, deadlines make better designers!
If you think about newspapers or magazines, meeting project deadlines is commonplace. And it makes sense. They are publishing a physical product that people are wanting delivered. Now, what about deadlines for design projects? Are they equally as important? Most definitely, YES. I want to tell you exactly why design projects deadlines are important.
When a design project starts, establishing a strong communication between the designer and client is KEY. Be clear on project expectations (on both sides) from the beginning. Setting clear and realistic deadlines at the start of the project should prevent any shocking elements throughout the design process. This, in turn, is vital for building a solid rapport with the client.
Designers want to produce a high-quality product. Therefore, deadlines can be moved, or pushed back if the need arises. Communication helps the designer-client relationship and project expectations stay flexible and strong throughout the entire process.
Setting a delivery date (or deadline) for design projects is critical in the planning stage of a designer’s workload. Some clients are launching ASAP while others have no specified time of project completion. By establishing a clear time frame, designers are able to set up an appropriate project timeline, accommodating both the client’s deadline and other work commitments.
Once deadline dates are established, designers then need to set up project tasks. The order of these tasks are important both to construct an efficient workflow and in building off previous completed tasks. For example, a designer wouldn’t start the website set up process before they’ve had a client fill out a Site Questionnaire. Having task order is SO important for design project deadlines.
Pro tip: Be transparent with clients on the design process. Specify what tasks are being completed and when. Using tools such as Asana or Trello are great for process sharing. This also helps maintain a strong client rapport.
We’ve established that having an order to project tasks is important. But why? Because often, a designer is tackling multiple projects within the same time frame – either with one client’s project or multiple clients. And, let me tell you, it can get overwhelming very quickly. If tasks have not been effectively organized and scheduled, missing one of these task deadlines creates a domino effect on the rest of the tasks. Once a task deadline is missed or not completed, it can postpone a designers ability to start work on the next task – postponing all subsequent tasks. And this is never a good thing.
Keeping a realistic mentality is key. Everyone responds to deadlines differently, myself included! Either we flourish under pressure or we really just don’t. A designer knows how they work best with deadlines and they plan their design projects accordingly. This time management and estimation is important for allowing them to achieve their maximum creativity -and ultimately, give their clients the best project outcome possible. And we all want that, right?
Deadlines go both ways! I have client feedback built into my task timeline with deadline dates attached. I strongly believe, giving clients a realistic deadline to complete their own feedback on project pieces helps produce successful design outcomes (and client relationship) from the get-go. It also helps avoid last-minute design modifications.
If you want the long story short – clients likely want a timely delivery of their project. And designers want to produce exceptional work. By setting up project deadlines, clients and designers are better able to achieve this outcome, making it a win-win for all involved. It’s so important to construct strong rapport, organize tasks with manageable delivery dates, and establish a realistic mindset for design projects to produce the best possible deliverables.
Not to mention it reduces the stress ten-fold! By keeping all of this in mind, designers are setting themselves up to produce their best work in timely delivery. And what client can argue with that? Now, if you want to know what the No. 1 quality to look for in a designer, read my post about it!
Hello! Amber Hukari Creative is a boutique agency that specializes in design, branding and social media growth for lifestyle brands and female entrepreneurs. I strive to make you and your business sparkle online! From branding development, graphic and web design, and social media growth and strategy…I’ve got you covered!