Kathirvel K

One thing to do before starting a new project

Posted on: October 3, 2009

  1. Invest time in getting organized.
  2. Clean up your desk.

    Getting rid of the visual clutter around you will establish an environment where creativity can flourish.

  3. Estimate your capabilities and capacities.
    always ensure that you have enough time and resources to do the job justice, otherwise you’ll end up cutting corners, pushing back deadlines, and deliver a sub standard experience to the client and the user base.
  4. Be updated about current trends.
    React to, don’t blindly follow, trends. Ask yourself, “will those new practices look as perfect tomorrow?”
  5. Get to know your clients.
    Ask questions. A lot. Don’t be afraid of sounding stupid, or being a pain in the butt. It’s better you get a complete grasp of a project before embarking on it.
  6. Communicate and listen to your clients.
    Immerse yourself in who the client is and who the visitors are. Get to know the client as well as humanly possible, understand their motivation, their goals and really listen to their responses. Ensure you incorporate what they have to say into your thinking rather than deciding everything in advance.
  7. Make sure client’s needs are defined.
    Get to know what the projects is all about and what the client needs. Not what they want, what they need.
  8. Make sure the scope is defined.
    Dive deep into any data you can find to help frame your project. That includes existing product metrics, customer feedback, market landscape, and more. Saturate yourself with context. Find out exactly what’s involved and work out (in your head, at least) how you’re going to go about delivering.
  9. Make sure the goal is defined.

    Talk with the client. Understand their goals. Once you know this, your solutions can target those goals. Without it, it’s hard to defend a design. With it, you can explain how and why your design solves those problems.

  10. Make sure you have a good plan.
    Planning on paper helps you stay focused and ensures you won’t forget any of your ideas as you dive into the work. You don’t have to come up with a rigid schedule, but identifying key milestones, and what steps you need to do to complete them BEFORE you start will help keep you on track.
  11. Affirm the vision for the project.
    Often objectives summaries and punch lists aren’t enough, even a seminal vision should be reviewed in a casual brainstorming session to be sure that the initial steps taken are going to be productive and adversity averted.
  12. Observe the competition.
    You want to learn from the mistakes of your competition, even if you’re not out to make a buck on whatever it is you’re creating. Find out what they did right, what they did wrong, and what they didn’t do at all.
  13. Get money up front.
    Did I say get money up front? No matter how small you are, the client should respect you enough to pay you to get started.
  14. Clear your mind.
    If feasible, finish up previous projects or at least major milestones before starting a new project. This will help take any pressure off and clear your mind.
  15. Brainstorm, sketch!
    Write down as many random ideas and sketches as you can on pieces of paper. Nothing has to make sense or have any real value — but just get the ideas out on paper.
  16. Discuss your decisions.
    Bounce off your ideas with someone who has a keen critical sense. Research till you drop. Get as much collateral information about the market, similar projects. Clarify the brief till there are NO gray zone, because this will become your twilight zone.

Source: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/09/07/170-expert-ideas-from-worlds-leading-developers/


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