Design Deadlines and the Creative Process

I’m sure every web designer reading this knows what I’m talking about. You’ve a deadline for a web design concept and coming up with the design is taking longer than you expected. And the client, of course, is eagerly anticipating that mock-up.

I try to be generous when I first give my clients an expected date to see the mock-up. It’s always better to under promise and over deliver. If for some reason it’s still not enough time I just try to be honest. Luckily this doesn’t happen very often.

Sadly being creative doesn’t always work to a schedule. So how do you manage deadlines when the the design is taking longer than usual?

3 thoughts on “Design Deadlines and the Creative Process”

  1. Nope being creative can be the hardest thing to do – especially when you get a designers block! Its all too easy to then fall back on previous designs….

    If I know theres going to be a delay I try to inform the client in advance… say give them 4 to 5 days notice…. rather then email or call them on the day apologising…. better to give them a heads up as this helps to smooth things out for ya

    Daz

  2. Ah, the old “design on demand” thing. Yes, it can be difficult on occasion.

    I try first to get a good idea of what the client wants and what features will be needed, what elements will need to be incorporated, and then I think about it.

    If all else fails, I have a short list of sites to visit. I like these sites because they’re so *different* — that is, it’s not that I look for or find somethin to replicate, but that they kind of blow away any “fixed” ideas about how websites should look. This can leave you more open to whatever ideas you have. One in particular is sure to do that, and is entertaining at the very least:
    http://www.bwdow.com/newsites.php

  3. Thanks for the link Diane. Inspirations is always a big help.

    Like you I always talk with the client first about what they like, dislike etc. Sometimes putting that to – hmm what’s the online word for paper – is not so easy.

    Daz, I agree, letting them know in advance is a good idea.

    I guess as usual, it all comes down to communication.

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