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Design and delivery at speed

Speed and quality – two of the most sought after outcomes that companies who approach 6B always need.

Delivering a quality product in a timely manner can be tricky.

So how do we balance the two?

For starters, the journey from initial idea to final product has changed dramatically. The traditional relationship would be:

  1. Client briefs us
  2. We create a scope and designs
  3. We build in isolation
  4. The quicker we can do it, the better

 

But this older, waterfall methodology usually adds more time to a build and can lead to inferior quality products.

6B adopts an agile approach to design and delivery, which we can deliver to clients at speed – we build, improve and support a product together as technical partners.

The importance of user testing

Design isn’t just about looking good – a website or app needs to create an easy user journey, a user experience that reflects well on your business and drives outcomes that benefit your organisation.

That’s why user testing is such an important part of the Discovery phase of our projects.

We get a look and feel for your project at the Discovery stage.

Understanding how a user behaves with a website or app gives insight into how a product should be designed. We base our designs on these user stories so we’re not wasting time creating designs you don’t need.

User testing may include:

  • A/B testing: Testing multiple versions of a site to discover how users interact with it
  • Focus groups: We gather opinions about a product or service
  • Surveys: This gauges user experience and satisfaction
  • Heat maps: This gives a visual representation of user activity

While this may seem like a lot of preparation before building the actual site, it saves time in the long run because all the data we collect is shared with our customers.

The demographics of people who will use your site are also important to consider.

Could someone aged 90 use the website in the same way as someone aged six?

Could someone with poor reception or signal access your site?

Does your design exclude a certain group of people in any way?

Accessibility needs to be considered for as wide a range of people as possible. If you don’t consider these factors at this stage, it can add time to your build. This clarity allows our designers and developers to build your website or app at speed.

Design is carried out in sprints when needed, to avoid us designing elements customers don’t need.

Cutting down on repetitive tasks

No project has ever existed without an element of repetition. They’re often simple tasks but they can add a lot of time to a project build.

Where possible, we try to cut down on these types of tasks, as long as it doesn’t have an effect on the quality of your project.

In design, it’s important to keep a website or app consistent. Calls to action, logos and colour schemes are likely to be the same on all pages of a website. Putting the same elements on each page can therefore become a repetitive task that takes time.

“I try to cut down on as many repeat processes as possible by using design systems and style guides,” said Phil Millward, 6B’s Head of Design. “That gives you more time to focus on the more important things.”

Those more important things may include enhancing the user experience, making sure contact forms are easy to fill in or working on bespoke design elements.

So to create design at speed, what are design systems and style guides?

And how do they allow us to speed up a design project?

  • Design systems – This is a single source of truth which groups all the elements and components that allow us to design and develop a product. Components may include buttons, calls to action, headers and more. Premade UI components and elements mean that our designers can quickly replicate repeat designs to create a consistent look and reduce time.
  • Style guides – This may include colour schemes, typography, spacing, icons and imagery – we keep this in one reference source so that everyone can clearly see what design decisions are being made. Using a style guide will enhance your marketing and sales efforts because the brand appearance looks professional and consistent across all pages of your website or app.

Thinking beyond your immediate project

Our design process is collaborative – we can help in an advisory or coaching role so that we don’t slip into a ‘we’ll do it for you’ mindset.

Learning and building new skills is a team activity – it’s important for our customers to learn these skills so that you can be self-sufficient in the long-term once a website or app has been built.

As well as learning on the job, it’s important to step back and reflect. People learn at different paces; having that time and space to assess what’s happening gives you the chance to reflect on the positives and negatives of a project. 6B carries out retrospective reflections throughout the lifecycle of a project so that we can deliver designs that will surpass expectations at every stage of development.

Agile working also gives you the opportunity to pivot the project in a different direction if something isn’t working. For example, a client might raise new legislation that a design would need to reflect.

Trust and communication

Pace can vary over a project, which is why it’s important to build trust and communication.

Transparency and honesty are firmly rooted in 6B’s principles. Setting realistic expectations is important, because every project will see some sort of change during its life cycle. There may be new legislation introduced, or new staff members may be onboarded who have different ideas. Whatever happens, our agile ways of working can facilitate change.

Only through honest communication and mutual trust can we add features and functionality to a website that will improve a business’ bottom line, whether that be improving brand awareness, increasing conversions or maximising profit.

It’s only when we’re all agreed on our direction through the Discovery phase that we go into design sprints to build your app or website. Then our agile way of working gives our clients visibility over the project at every stage.

That way, you’re left with no surprises at the end of development and we can deliver great designs at speed.

Looked for skilled designers that will create an intuitive new website or app?

6B has designed hundreds of websites for customers across the automotive, healthcare and other industries.

Contact us today to learn more.

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