We Work In Phases
Phasing is our preferred method of organizing and completing projects. It is equally fair to client and consultant, supports both creativity and restraint, and is an excellent methodology for building mutual respect and trust over time.
The type and scale of a project will dictate phasing details, but generally every project involves the following phases that must be done by someone, either the client or a consultant.
Setting Goals & Limits
Project goals, timeline, and budget are typically set by the client with or without input from consultants. A conscious decision to deviate from these goals and limits can be made by the client at the end of each phase if creative input during the phase suggests a better direction.
During this phase, we look closely at the company and its goals for the project. We look for other projects or initiatives that might be related. Project interactions are considered along with project consolidation in light of best achieving project goals and meeting limits. Various methods of achieving project goals are also considered. An accounting is taken of the visual and verbal assets that are already in existence. The amount of time to budget for discovery is directly proportionate to the scale and complexity of the proposed project.
Based on the findings of the discovery phase and decisions made by the client, we proceed to conceptually develop the look-and-feel, feature set, and technical requirements for the project. We look at the visual and verbal assets that may need to be developed. The goal here is to bring all aspects of the project up to the same developmental level so that alignment with the overall budget can be validated.
Based on the findings of the conceptual design phase and decisions made by the client, we proceed to develop higher-fidelity visual and verbal content and technical specifications that are approaching a final stage. Again, any impact this phase has on the budget is reviewed.
Any final client changes are folded in at this phase and final look-and-feel, visuals, verbal content, and technical specifications are detailed and accepted by the client. Once again, any affect this phase has on the overall budget is reviewed.
This is the final implementation of all aspects of the project.
Design is the process of consciously bringing order to disorder.
We believe that the Universe tends toward order—toward design, and that good designs stand the test of time. Humans also tend to seek order in their thinking, activities, movements, and relationships, and have an innate appreciation for designs that are new and unusual. We even appreciate occasional randomness as a counterpoint to order.
We're all designers, but some of us excel at creating designs while others excel at maintaining designs.
Expecting a maintainer to be good at creating is just as futile as expecting a creator to dine on a steady diet of maintenance.
About the Creative Process
A successful creative conclusion to a design project is the sum total of all the requirements, research, limitations, interactions, and decisions that went into it along the way. Conceptual, visual, verbal, and technical creativity all have their place in the process as does maintenance after-the-fact.
A client who wants to predict results should produce a very detailed specification and pay a creative technical person a job price to implement it. This puts the burden of conceptual, visual, and verbal creativity squarely on the shoulders of the client.
To maximize the benefit that each type of creativity has to offer, we recommend that clients first clearly define their goals, timeline, and budget for a project, then select a conceptual creative to manage and develop the project within the limitations set by the client. This person is responsible for developing concepts to creatively work within the project limits set by the client. Throughout the process, visual, verbal, and finally, technical expertise is added at the appropriate time. Each influx of creativity modifies and improves the outcome. It also has a affect on the budget and timeline. Completing a project in phases lets the client exercise ongoing control over the direction the creative process takes.