Over the years I have perfected the art of project management, although this is a hidden skill that I’ve never really noticed myself. Running your own business means writing proposals, costings and specifications. Of course, projects never quite conform to your intended schedule, which is the nature of digital product design. A website or app should never be set in stone. We can have a small celebration on the launch day, but the real work has only just began. Because the job satisfaction is earned from happy users.
I don’t believe we should get too wrapped up with internal politics and milestones, which mean absolutely nothing to an audience. The design and development process can be broken down into very simple components. The driver throughout the process should be user feedback through testing, both with early, low fidelity mock-ups (prototypes) and testing the live website itself. It’s a freak of human nature that problems are only spotted when a website is let loose on the public, which is actually how it should be. We’re human.
I’ve created a free one-page, quick guide to the product development process, which you can download here:
My project framework is very simple, ideal for managing small to medium sized website projects. You should consider regular user testing, both pre-launch and post-lauch. The main focus post-launch is content management, making sure you keep users engaged regularly. You will need to keep search engines happy, design compelling pages and fix bugs along the way.
Improve your UX design skills
For the last year I have been a member of the Interaction Design Foundation (IxDF), the number one e-Learning resource for everything related to modern product design. There’s something for everyone, including designers, developers, marketers and business owners. The courses are great, with lots of variation, including video lectures, multiple choice and downloads.
Once you become a member, you get access to local UX communities, can post questions in the forum and take extended Master Classes. It’s also really good value, considering the wealth of professional training available.
Annual membership price is £144 (£12 per month). As a member, I can offer a discount of 2 months free membership during the first year. More discounts become available after you join too. Here’s the discount link: