Useful Productivity Tips & Web Apps for Design Teams & Designers

The productivity tips outlined here are followed by most web design teams and individual designers. They are always worth repeating, though. Forgetting or ignoring any one of them can affect your project workflow performance.

They are also worth reviewing since not all designers are aware of them in their totality. When taken together, they can contribute to a successful outcome, project after project.

When forced to rely on something less than a top rated project management tool, designers can still achieve success. Yet only after overcoming obstacles that they should have been able to avoid.

Productivity Tips

Clarify Expectations.
This should be the first rule a designer or a project manager needs to follow. Team members or designers need to know what is to be expected of them. And, all team members need to be on the same page – at all times.

Encourage Open Communications.
Problems, potential problems, and concerns, need to be discussed honestly with your client or team members. A team member who is reluctant to bring a problem to the fore can cause added work for the team as a whole. The team leader needs to be open and honest as well.

Give Team Members Autonomy.
Some call it autonomy; some call it empowerment. People who enjoy working on teams also need to feel like they are working for themselves.

Rethink Meetings.
While meetings are a necessary part of doing business, you should structure them to fully support you or the team’s effort. Unproductive meetings can result in team members being kept from what they do best.

Reserve Downtime.
In a results-driven, highly-charged work environment, scheduled downtime is advisable. And it should be a mandatory practice. The beneficiaries are productivity and morale.

Principles to Remember I –
Make smart use of shared calendars, and show progress are two ways of keeping direct reports accountable. Unplanned events happen, but make it a point to give team members a heads-up when extra hours are in the offing.

Principles to Remember II – Don’t micromanage your team, don’t over commit them. Give them the tools and resources they need to do the job.

Useful web apps to get the job done:

InVision

InVision is the world’s leading prototyping, collaboration, and workflow platform. Whether you are an individual designer or the leader of a design team, this workflow tool gives you a way to take feedback from clients and stakeholders, analyze and organize that feedback, and, when necessary, drill down into specific project details.

The good news: InVision is used by companies like Twitter, Apple. General Motors, Uber, and others for their prototyping and project management needs. Even better news: You can try if for free for a single prototype, whether you are an individual web designer or an agency or corporate design team.

You can modify your project, test it, and modify it more, without any need for coding. Professional and Enterprise Versions are available, both at highly affordable prices. If you your team is a large one, working many different prototypes, you can try the Enterprise plan one time for free. This should be a difficult opportunity to pass up.

Proto.io

Proto.io helps designers, entrepreneurs and product managers enhance their design process by creating realistic, interactive and sharable prototypes, without code.

You can design your prototype directly in Proto.io, using the beautifully crafted UI components for iOS, Android, Windows and WatchOS or import your designs directly from Sketch or Photoshop. With animations, interactions and transitions Proto.io helps you bring any static design to life.

What makes Proto.io truly shine is that it allows you to preview your prototypes in a web browser or on the intended device making the experience as realistic as possible. You just need to download the Proto.io app for iOS and Android. Sharing your prototypes with key stakeholders can be done with just a single click.

350,000 users, smoking-hot startups like PayPal and Evernote, and Fortune 500 companies have placed their trust in Proto.io. See why by signing up for a free 15-day full-featured trial.

Sendloop

If you’re on the market for an enterprise-level software marketing tool, but have found them to be either prohibitively expensive or unable to deliver value for money, Sendloop may well be your answer. Sendloop is the email marketer’s dream. It is specially tailored to leverage the power of email marketing.

Email marketing at times risks being crowded out of competition, no doubt due in part to the difficulty many have in formulating email promotional content that can capture and engage user attention. With Sendloop, you can distribute marketing information featuring professionally-styled content your customers and potential customers will love; without a need for coding or special technical skills.

Sendloop comes with more than 100 ready-to-use email templates. All that’s needed is your branding. Give it a try, and be prepared to watch response rates increase.

Paymo

Paymo is a single platform for team collaboration, timesheet management and task accounting. This modern project management app is ideally suited for small to medium businesses.

Paymo’s many benefits include helping your team keep focused on delivering real work, rather than spending excessive times in meetings.

It does so in part by enabling team leaders and team members to keep up to date with project progress, by tracking billable hours and milestones, converting timesheet data into invoices, and even accepting payments online. Project managers and design teams have found Paymo’s integrated project accounting capabilities to be invaluable.

MeisterTask

Design teams look for more in a project management tool than the ability to simply collect and record project status. They look for a tool that actively assists them in their desire to work closely together. MeisterTask is that tool. Its flexible project boards easily adapt to actual workflow situations.

MeisterTask takes the traditional Kanban board, with its sticky notes on whiteboard approach, and presents it as an integral part of a beautifully designed UI that is an absolute joy to work with.

An added benefit: MeisterTask integrates easily with hundreds of other tools, from mind mapping to team chat and calendar to email apps.

Form Analytics by UseItBetter

Form Analytics by UseItBetter can be an answer to your prayers if customer loss because of the forms you use is a persistent problem.

No matter what it is you’re selling, online forms are notorious for throwing up roadblocks to users instead of making transactions as smooth easy as possible.

It starts by collecting data on how users are interacting with your forms. It presents you with a visual picture of why most customers are dropping out, so you can fix you forms, and go about optimizing conversions. It’s that simple.

Wrapping it up

The beauty of web apps such as these, is that the can do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping a project on track or fixing details that need fixing. That’s true whether an app you select provides and all-in-one project management platform, or one devoted to a more specific task.

Productivity tips along with principles to keep in mind are, and always will be of prime importance. Web apps can make workflow progress smoothly, but it is still you or the team leader who must set the tone for the day’s work.

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