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November 2, 2020
204: Speeding up the design process

Do you always get the freedom to see your design process through from start to finish? On this episode of Design Life we talk about speeding up the design process or simply how to design fast. Keyboard shortcuts and being a software pro might help you to create a design faster but you need to look at the bigger picture to speed up the whole design process. Some projects need to get finished faster than others and there are a few things you can do to help make that happen, but if one project can be finished quickly can’t they all? We chat tools, timelines and how to ensure you’re still producing your best work on a tight deadline.

key takeaways

Your design process will speed up as you go through your career. Some parts of the process will be easier to get through because you have gained skills and experience you didn’t. You will be able to make design decisions faster as you progress.
It is worth creating two variations of your design process, one to use when you have more time and one to use when you need an expedited version of the design process. This will be unique to you.

Getting a design across the finish line doesn’t just mean designing faster. There are a few other things to consider, two designers might get the work done quicker than one could alone. Could your project benefit from a design sprint approach? Decide on a timeline and identify the key milestones. Daily check-ins and a weekly design review will keep you accountable. Buy-in from stakeholders is key to making sure your change in approach will be successful.

People might ask, if one project can be finished quickly, can’t they all? As a designer, you cannot have the speedy expedited process without having a longer, more in-depth design process every now and again. You need the time to explore and think of new ways of doing things to keep that creative muscle strong, this will fuel you and keep you going.

Some parts of the design process are easier to eliminate than others. Think about where you can save time, consider what assets can you draw on that already exist. If you have a robust design system you might be able to begin working on a mid to high fidelity design, if you have a strong research library that you can reference this part of the process might also save time. Some design decisions can be made quicker because of your experience, go with your gut.

Continue to monitor and reflect on the success of the project after it has been completed. Did the project achieve the business impact that it was created to? Could more time in the design stage have produced a better result? This will help inform design decision making in the future so it is key information to have.

There are some elements of the design process that are there for a reason and can’t be cut. Seeing through handover and the thorough communication of your design will save you time in the long run as this will make sure all the key decision makers are fully informed.

show timestamps

01.33 - Catch up
04.54 – Speeding up the design process
11.44 – Why can’t we always design this fast?
16.05 – Eliminating parts of the design process
18.50 – Expediting engineering
21.08 – Does speeding up lower standards?
23.30 – The design tool
28.20 – Design process essentials

show links