11 Essential Design Processes & Checklists (UX, Web Design, Branding…)
Design is one of those tricky areas of business which some people seem innately good at and others are terrible.
But effective design is crucial to business success.
Here are two key statistics from Adobe which demonstrate how vital design is for your business:
- Design-driven companies have outperformed the S&P Index by 219% over 10 years
- Companies that foster creativity enjoy 1.5x greater market share
In the modern digital arena, customers and users expect excellent design and usability more than ever. Poorly designed websites will put customers off or fail to convert those customers who see past the poor layout. Design thinking is business thinking.
For instance, think of any marketing campaign you’ve run. The choice of the images, the font, the location of your call to action are all defined by thinking in terms of design.
For this reason, in this Process Street article, we give you free access to our top 11 design processes and checklists. Simply click on the links below and be directed to your template of choice.
- Web Design Process
- UX Design Process
- Brand Identity Design
- Header Design
- Engineering Design Process
- Graphic Design Process
- Logo Design Process
- Animation Design Process
- Blog Image Design Process
- Graphic Design Approval Checklist
- Social Media Image Design
Even websites which appear on the surface to be poorly designed, like Craigslist or Reddit, work because the user experience they provide is one that resonates with the user. A solid design creates more than just conversions, it can create brand loyalty too – keeping your customers coming back for more.
Click on the subheader below to navigate to the relevant section in this article. Alternatively, scroll down for a thorough overview of our top 11 design checklists.
- Our top 11 design checklists covering design’s vital areas
- How to create your design processes and checklists using Process Street
Our top 11 design checklists covering design’s vital areas
When formulating which areas of design to cover within this template pack, we had to start from the basis of use cases.
There’s little point creating separate checklists for typography or color choice because dealing with these decisions usually comes collectively as a smaller part of a larger process.
We’ve set out to create separate checklists for separate needs. From corporate branding to building and testing products. Some of these checklists are structured to be done internally within a company using the resources you already have. Other checklists are designed primarily with freelance designers in mind.
We tried to build these use cases based on of who will gain the most value from them. However, as with all Process Street templates, they can be added to your account and edited to suit your specific needs. You can add steps or remove steps, add detail or media.
How you employ these processes in your business is up to you. Let’s take a look at them!
Web Design Process
The likelihood is that when you think of design one of the first things which pops into your mind is web design.
It seems like web design, more so than engineering design or user experience design, is something we all have an opinion on. After all, we spend a lot of time online bouncing around different websites and we’re exposed to countless different designs and layouts all the time.
That said, though we might all have an opinion on it, we don’t all do a great job in turning nice ideas into beautiful user-friendly realities.
Our Web Design Process is primarily oriented at freelance designers who are designing websites for clients. We’ve constructed this process in a way where both the designer and the client can use it as a collaborative space for the duration of the project.
When you upload work to the checklist, the client can check it out and then record their feedback in another field. With Process Street’s task-based assignments and due dates, you can set dates for both deliverables and feedback with notifications enabled. It’s collaboration through a linear timeline.
UX Design Process
Strong UX design is a crucial part of a successful website or app. However, it’s not only limited to the online sphere. The kind of design thinking which the internet has kicked into the mainstream has spilled offline. Now there are user experience managers who work on organizing the structures of retail outlets and similar.
Our UX Design Process, though, is focused on delivering high-quality user experience in the online world. As with any UX process, it is very research-focused.
To understand how your users interact with a website or would interact with a potential website, you have to ask them and test them. You need to understand their wishes and desires while studying their behavior.
In this checklist we take you through the 4 key steps of UX design:
- Conduct your user research
- Design your initial flows
- Put your designs into testing
- Assist with implementation and optimization
While conducting your research through this checklist, you’ll notice that you can use Process Street’s run link for checklist surveys. This will help you store all of your information within Process Street alongside your workflow. There are two different ways to carry out this process within the template. Check it out!
Brand Identity Design
Your brand identity is more than simply what you’ve called your company and whether you’ve chosen a nice pretentious color like chartreuse, cerulean, or taupe.
Your brand identity goes deeper than what you see on the surface.
This defines your brand and provides the first point of contact between your services and the potential end-user. A solid branding strategy is informed by your products or services, your competition, and the broader market. This is as much business analysis as it is designed.
Our Brand Identity Design checklist is aimed at a marketing company running a brand identity overhaul for an existing brand. It takes steps through the research and company understanding of the creation of the end deliverables: logos, promotional materials, letterheads, etc.
A brand is as much an ethos as it is some nice pictures on a piece of paper, so remember that your branding doesn’t finish when the checklist does!
When we use websites we often take for granted how they are structured and presented to us.
This is simply good design.
When navigating a website, you’re normally doing so from the header of the site. A website like Amazon, which sells a million and one different things, allows you to navigate through the header and then filter down the side.
Your website is almost certainly not as big as Amazon. Unless eBay is reading. Hi, eBay.
This means that you may not need the complexity of a header that contains everything. How you choose to structure your header will determine whether customers can find the product they’re looking for or not. How easy your website is to navigate is vital for increasing your conversions.
Our Header Design Process is geared towards an e-commerce startup who wish to internally iterate and improve their layout and structure. We provide step by step guides through the research process and then propose easy to implement steps to improve. There’s an effort in this checklist to provide the reader with third-party solutions to help them optimize their website.
Not all of us can afford a designer all the time. Don’t worry, I’m looking out for you.
Engineering Design Process
Not every design process needs to be visual and online.
In the engineering design process, we cycle through the steps necessary to create a new product. This has been based on building a niche custom solution to fit an already identified problem.
The checklist is written from the perspective of an engineering firm who have been contracted to improve the manufacturing process. They need to develop a particular piece of machinery to tackle the problems the client is facing.
I know what you’re thinking. You don’t design manufacturing parts. Well, it doesn’t really matter.
The core methodology behind the engineering design process is a universal one built as an extension of the scientific method. It’s the industry standard way of creating products, and I’m sure there are many of you who would love to go out and do just that.
Graphic Design Process
Graphic design is a phrase that is banded around a lot. It seems to be applicable to many situations or use cases. Ultimately, graphic design is used a lot because it is a broad term.
Our Graphic Design Process works with the use case of a freelance designer who is tasked to create promotional materials for a company that wants to start a new marketing push. The graphic designer has to understand the motivations of the customers, the expectations of the client, and how to balance the two to create a beautiful and effective final product.
You can customize this checklist for your own internal use, or use it straight out of the box for freelance work.
Logo Design Process
A logo appears to be a very simple thing.
It’s normally very simple. Basic shapes and bold colors.
But creating a logo is so much more than that. An effective logo is immediately recognizable and embeds itself into the customer’s consciousness. Think of a few brands you know. Pick 5 off the top of your head.
Some of those brands will have logos you would immediately recognize, while others you would look straight past. What is the difference? The difference is the logo itself. Some work, some not so much.
Our Logo Design Process is structured so that the designer and the client are both present in the checklist and take their involvement in turns, one task at a time. This allows you to use the task assignments and due dates and helps you easily see the progress of the process.
Research-based and iterations-focused, this logo process should help you hone your company into one small little icon.
Animation Design Process
There are as many ways to design an animation as there are animations to design – trying to tell you how to make an animation from start to finish would simply crush creativity and confuse both you and your client.
Instead, our Animation Design Process will guide you through the technical elements of creating an animation.
Whether you’re responsible for every element (scripting, the voiceover, etc) or just the animation itself, this checklist has everything you need to work with your client and produce results they’re happy with, without wasting time on needless revisions.
Blog Image Design Process
This blog image design process provides structure to consistently create great images that capture your audience’s attention.
Whether this is for your own blog or a design for a client, use this template to stop relying on memory to make sure you get everything done to a high standard. Not to mention that it makes tracking your image design projects easier to manage, collaborate on, and refer back to.
Graphic Design Approval Checklist
For many designers, getting the final approval on your work may be one of the more challenging aspects of the project. That’s often because there are so many people involved in the process who need to sign off on the final product.
Our Graphic Design Approval Checklist Template provides a shared space for the designer, client, and anyone else to work together throughout the project.
You’ll be able to document all the project details and progress in one place and most importantly, it implements automated Approvals tasks throughout the process, allowing your clients to quickly and simply approve (or deny) your work as you move forward.
Social Media Image Design
Designing images for social media platforms is a minefield of potential errors. Even experienced designers will have trouble remembering the various best practices for each platform, and a single mistake can make all of the work behind the image useless.
This social media image design checklist solves that problem.
Use our Social Media Image Design Checklist for detailed instructions and best practices for creating images for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest.
How to create your design processes and checklists using Process Street
Process Street is superpowered checklists.
- Stop tasks to ensure task order.
- Dynamic due dates, so no deadline is missed.
- Conditional logic, creating a dynamic template that caters to your needs.
- Role assignments, to ease task delegation within your team.
- Approvals, allowing decision-makers to give the go-ahead (or rejection) on important items. Also, the necessary comments can be provided.
- Webhooks, so apps can send out automated messages or information directly to other apps. A great feature keeping your other tools notified about the status of checklists and tasks in Process Street.
- Task assignments, to assign users and groups to individual tasks in your checklists, making it easy to see who is responsible for what.
- Embed Widget allowing you to view and interact with other apps without leaving your checklist.
The checklists in this article cover a wide range of design processes, from building a brand identity to transferring your brand identity into a website using our Web Design Process, to then marketing your brand via social media using our support Social Media Image Design process. You can edit any one of these processes to suit your specific design needs.
Or, maybe you have a unique design process we haven’t yet documented via a checklist. If so, why not create your own checklist for your specific process? It is really very easy. Watch the video below, Basics of Creating and Editing Templates for more information on how you can do this.
Optimize your design processes and build your brand today using Process Street
You don’t need to be a dab hand at Photoshop to run a user experience research investigation. Nor do you need to have gone to art school to start thinking about the theoretical foundations for your company branding.
Design is an innate part of Business in the modern world. Start employing these processes in your business today.
Are there any design processes not included in this article that you would like help with? Please comment below as we would love to hear from you and create the best-optimized processes to assist you in your design operations.