Essential design methods to optimize your workflow and your time

How Motion Graphics Can Transform Your Brand


Essential design methods to optimize your workflow and your time

Critical design approaches to optimize your workflow and time.

A new era has begun, and digital design has never been richer in tools to let us do what we do best while increasing our productivity through concentration, control, and automation. As freelancers, we want to stay on top of the game by developing our design abilities, but we also want to enhance efficiency when it comes to other activities that aren't strictly design-related, but are just as vital to do a good job as freelancers.

1. UX/UI Design

Here, the alternatives are rapidly expanding. A lot has changed since Photoshop was the go-to tool a few years ago to now. Sketch was the first to shake things up by creating a tool just for UI design. Then a slew of others joined the bandwagon, and a few of them have grown in popularity among designers to become more standard— for example:

Figma has recently received a lot of traction, not only for its collaborative capabilities, but also for its advanced prototyping capabilities. It's also simple to share with other parties. A free version with up to three projects and a few collaborators is available, while a paid subscription (144$/year or 15$/month) enables limitless projects and collaborators, as well as other valuable features.

Adobe XD is a strong rival as well, albeit it is currently lacking in features due to the tools mentioned above. On the other side, the free version allows you to have an infinite number of files, but the sharing functionality is limited. Unless you purchase the entire Adobe Creative Cloud, the complete edition of XD costs 9.99$/month.

2. All-round design

As a designer, you could wind up executing a wide range of tasks, from illustration to picture editing, animation, and so on. As a result, the Adobe Creative Cloud bundle includes everything you need to hide all of these common scenarios and more. You could think it's expensive at first glance, but it's a wonderful suite of products that can be utilised several times a month if you're creating very rigorous UI. The monthly fee is 52.99 dollars.

3. Prototyping

Prototyping is essential for numerous stages of the design process: from a quick sanity check to user testing, presentations, and stakeholder management, everything is much easier to understand when you can click about and see what's going on right on the device.

Prototyping might be as simple as clicking through a flow or as complex as adding animations and transitions. Using real data using APIs is often a much-needed technique to test a product in as realistic a fashion as possible, without having to implement the planning right now. Principle is the tool to use if you want more powerful animation options. Unfortunately, it's only accessible for MacOS, but it's a good handover from Sketch to Figma if you keep your layers tidy. A year of upgrades costs 129 dollars. While sharing with stakeholders can be a nuisance (Apple users only), the experience of holding a high-fidelity prototype of this calibre may be well worth the drawbacks.

4. Handover

If you're considering Figma, you'll find that it has excellent handover capabilities. This is a feature that even Marvel possesses. If you use Sketch or XD to create your designs, you should check out zeplin. The annual value ranges from 204 to 312 dollars. Quite costly, to be sure.

5. Presentations

 As a designer, you'll almost certainly be required to make more organised presentations for your work from time to time. Keynote may be a handy tool, and it's free. However, it's only available on Mac OS X. Google Slides is also a great tool, and it's free and offers live collaboration, much like all Gmail account tools. G Suite offers a basic membership option for $6/month if you're looking for more sophisticated capabilities or would prefer to have your own domain rather than gmail.com.

6. Cloud storage

Keeping all of your files on a hard disc could be dangerous. We all know someone who has spilled an entire cup of coffee on their laptop's keyboard and is now at risk of losing everything as each drip leaks into its innards. Cloud storage may be a useful way to avoid this and ensure that you can drink your coffee without fear of losing it. It's not just a personal backup, but it's also a quick way to exchange files with your team and stakeholders. Also, version control may be a fantastic feature for you, since it will save the day if you erase something from a file by accident.

7. Note-taking

Taking notes could be considered a form of writing. Because of the numerous applications, the tools have grown in number throughout time. Nothing prevents you from simply typing in a simple text editor and saving it to your hard drive. New software, on the other hand, has significantly improved the workflow, so it's worth considering the possibilities. Google Docs is a good alternative for collaboration and sharing, but it isn't as focused on note-taking as any other text editor. It's only available through the browser, which may be a drawback for some.

Notion is another tool that has recently garnered a lot of traction. Notion is simple to use and enjoyable to use, but it also lets you to do a lot more than just write text: utilising the block principle, you can easily create a to-do list, a board, a table, and a calendar all in one document. Because of its adaptability, it's a great tool for individuals as well as teams, so you'll be able to go from your meeting notes to the team's task board. The free version has limited storage (1000 blocks), but the most cost-effective subscription plan for one user costs $4 per month.

Dropbox paper is just another add-on to a much larger service, part of Dropbox's storage subscription service. It's a fun editor to use if you know you'll be getting a Dropbox plan. It's great for cooperation, however the editor section is a little thin.

8. Task management

Keeping track of what you need to neutralise can be difficult at times. Things are available on the side, while some are pushed to the back of the line, while others are dependent on the completion of others. You'd like to be able to see how far you've progressed as well as what's remaining to try.

9. Video-conferencing

Keeping track of the time spent on a project is essential not just for maintaining a transparent connection with your clients, but also for determining how much time you're spending in comparison to the budget you've been allotted.

10. Time reporting

Keeping track of the time spent during a project is prime to possess a transparent relationship together with your clients, but also for you to understand what proportion of time you're spending versus the budget you've been given.

11. Password management

You want to keep a lot of critical information you operate a business. Passwords must be kept safe and changed on a frequent basis. Isolating a password management tool may be a necessary precaution that may pay off handsomely.