If you’re a web designer, project management might be something you’ve never really thought about. Because if the only thing on your mind is creating a great product and making the client happy, taking the time to build a systematized approach to workflow may have seemed secondary.
But for those in creative and design industries, the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been. Not only due to the vast amount of competition in your field. But with potential delays costing thousands of dollars, any missed deadlines can lead to failed projects and frustrated clients. Which means without a proper project management system in place, your company could be losing out on important revenue.
In order to take some of the weight off of your shoulders, it’s wise to invest in a system that will not only help you deliver the finished product on time, but under budget, and with less stress along the way. That’s why we created this guide to finding the perfect project management software for web designers.
What is Web Design Project Management?
No matter what industry you’re involved in, at the end of the day project management is simply an approach to organizing and managing a project’s time, resources, and tasks. It helps to create a system with that can be referred to at any point in the project lifecycle. And creates a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) that help maintain control of the process.
When it comes to web design, project management involves a lot of moving parts. And it’s often necessary to coordinate with different team members, departments, and stakeholders to complete the work on time and within budget.
Throughout the process, it is also important to communicate clearly with your team. They need to know what you expect from them. With all of these factors to consider, it is no wonder that managing a design project is not easy.
That’s why more and more web designer teams are turning to project management software to help them with the heavy lifting.
Key Features of Project Management Software Necessary for Great Web Design
Project management software is actually a broad category of SaaS. Depending on your project management methodology and how you prefer to work, the exact tools can vary widely. But at the end of the day, here’s the main features that you can come to expect.
- Ways to track project tasks and deadlines
- Ability to assign tasks to team members
- Different collaborative means with team members, stakeholders, and clients
- Automatically communicate scheduling updates and changes
- A way to store and organize project files, links, and assets
- Visual project tracking
- A systematized way to create and monitor project KPIs
- The ability to generate reports for clients or upper management
How Project Management Software Benefits Web Designers
Web development project management is critical to the success of any web development project. Here’s 5 areas where you’ll see immediate improvements.
You’ll Stick to Your Deadlines
In order to succeed, you need to stay on top of the project. That means tracking milestones, setting up alerts, and creating reports that help you make it to the finish line.
Project management software can help web designers keep track of their deadlines by allowing them to create and visualize project timelines. These tools typically include task lists, calendar views, and Gantt charts, which can all be used to track the progress of a project.
Additionally, PM tools often allow users to share files and communicate with team members, making it easy to stay on top of due dates.
Keeps You Organized
Project management software helps web designers stay organized by keeping track of all the moving parts of a web design project. That’s because software gives uses a whole new way to see each component of their projects. With a high-level overview, designers can see at a glance what tasks need to be completed, who is responsible for each task, and when each task is due.
This information can be tremendously helpful in ensuring that a project stays on track and that important milestones are met. In addition, project management tools often allow designers to leave comments and share files with team members – making collaboration easy and efficient. And a necessity for teams who may not be co-located, which is just about everyone these days!
In short, project management software is invaluable for any web designer who wants to stay organized and on top of their projects.
See Better Communication with Your Clients
Online project management software can be extremely helpful for web designers who need to ensure transparent lines of communication with clients. A central place where everyone can see the project’s status, leave comments, and upload files can make things much easier to keep track of.
Not to mention, it can help avoid any miscommunication regarding what needs to be done and when.
In addition, many tools offer features such as task lists, calendars, and email notifications that can help keep everyone on track and ensure deadlines are met. Ultimately, using software can help make the design process much smoother for both the designer and the client.
Improves Team Collaboration
With regard to team collaboration, web designers can greatly benefit from having a clear and organized plan. It will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that all tasks are properly delegated.
In addition, a well-organized plan can help to prevent misunderstandings and communication breakdowns. Here are some specific ways in which a clear plan can improve team collaboration:
- It can help to define everyone’s role and responsibilities. When everyone knows what is expected of them, there is less likely to be confusion or overlap in tasks.
- It can make it easier to track progress and identify issues. A good plan will include a timeline with specific milestones and deadlines so that you can keep track of how the project is going and identify any potential problems.
- It can help to prevent conflict. Setting clear expectations and guidelines reduces the chances of team members butting heads over petty disagreements.
- It can create a more positive work environment. When everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal, it can help to foster a more positive team atmosphere. It can be especially beneficial when team members need to work together for an extended period of time.
Defines Team Roles and Eliminates Confusion
Any confusion over the role of web designers can easily be negated by using a project management tool with resource allocation. That’s because they can help define each team member’s roles and establish clear expectations for the project. This eliminates confusion over who is responsible for what tasks and ensures everyone is on the same page.
In addition, the best tools can help to track progress and identify any areas where there is a need for further clarification. By using project resource management software, web designers can ensure that their role is clearly defined and that there is no confusion over their responsibilities.
A Project Management Plan for Web Designers
As a web designer, having a clear and concise plan for every project you take on is important. Here are the steps to have everything you need to get started. This will help you to create an effective project plan of action, a clear project timeline, and a solid design brief:
Define Project Goals and Objectives
What are you hoping to achieve with this project? What are your specific goals and objectives? Do your goals coincide with client requests? These are all questions you need to be asking yourself, your team, and your client right from the get-go. Integrating this topic into the project kickoff can be a good idea to set the stage for what’s to come.
Here’s a few tips to keep in mind:
- Remember to be as specific as possible to create a focused plan of action.
- Ensure that lines of communication are always open between your team and the client, just in case goals change.
- Keep the goals visible throughout the entire process so you never lose focus and prevent any scope creep that may occur. Link to your document or even ensure that the main points are visible within your project management software.
Establish a (Realistic!) Timeline
Once you know what you hope to achieve, you need to determine when you hope to achieve it. Create a timeline for your project, including milestones and deadlines. When doing so, make sure to ask yourself the following questions.
- How does this timeline work for the client?
- Are there future projects in your portfolio that might throw this timeline off track?
- Are there any issues with with resource capacity to be made aware of – for example if if the project runs over the December holidays, will this impact who’s available to work?
- Is there space for any last minute checks, client critiques, and possible changes?
Make a Budget
How much money do you have to invest in this project? What are your estimated costs? And how do you plan on tracking this throughout the process? Creating a budget will help you stay on track financially and ensure you do not overspend. Even if delays or unexpected issues arise, a budget can act as a reference point to what your next decision will be. Here’s a few things to consider:
- Think about what your biggest expense will be. For most projects, this will be your human resources. Having a way to track their costs as the project progresses is key to staying on budget.
- Use completed projects as a benchmark to how much you’re spending on new projects. Project management software will keep all this data for you, so you only need to run a report to bring up the data you need.
Create a Capacity Plan
In order to ensure that your project can get created on time and on budget, you’ll need to outline a resource capacity plan. This means figuring out the amount of people, tools, facilities, etc. you’ll realistically need for the project. Even if this is new for you, the capacity planning can be done in your PM tool. Here’s a few of the basics to remember:
- Resources are the people that do the actual project work. This means your front end team members, back end, graphics, and coders. It also means any freelance or outsourced team mates that you’re working with. So don’t forget to include everyone you’ll be working with – especially if this changes due to contract dates and other work commitments.
- Resources can also be non-human. Meaning any facilities, equipment, or tools you need. If some of this equipment is limited or shared across teams in your workplace, then a capacity plan is imperative. And will prevent any delays that result from resource shortages.
- Project management with a capacity plan in tow, can help you show you who is available for the project. And makes it easier to see who is already booked up. This helps establish a clearer timeline and maintains a more balanced workload across your team.
The Best Project Management Software For Web Designers
Project management is critical for web design projects. By breaking the project down into smaller tasks and then assigning and tracking those tasks, you can ensure that the project stays on track and is completed on time.
There are many different project management tools available, and choosing the right one will depend on the size and complexity of your project. However, most of the best ones share common features, such as task lists, calendars, Gantt charts, and Kanban boards.
By using these features wisely, you can keep your team organized and focused and ensure your web design project is successful. Here’s our favorites.
Web designers can take advantage of a variety of capabilities that Basecamp has to offer. It features real-time conversation, file sharing, and a to-do list. Basecamp also provides a free trial, so you may use it before buying.
Basecamp’s key features:
- Centralized communication platform for collaborations and project management
- Assigning tasks, delegating responsibilities, and setting due dates
- Creating a shared to-do list and managing team check-ins
- Real-time group chat and direct messaging options
- Uploading and sharing documents, files, images, and videos
- Integrations with popular tools and apps such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Slack
- Customizable project templates for efficient workflow
- Detailed activity logs for tracking progress and insights on team performance
- Mobile app for accessing projects on the go.
Another well-liked project management tool with many of the same capabilities as Basecamp is Asana. But it also has some extra features, such as team calendars and template functions.
Asana’s key features:
- Task management and organization with customizable projects, tasks, and subtasks
- Team communication and collaboration
- Calendar view to track project deadlines
- Ability to assign tasks and set due dates
- Attach files or add Notes to tasks
- Integrations with other productivity tools, such as Google Drive and Slack
- Real-time updates and notifications
- Advanced search options to quickly find tasks
- Customizable dashboards for project overviews
- Reporting and analytics for team performance.
For web designers looking for something straightforward and user-friendly, you might want to check out Trello’s project Kanban boards. Trello is also available in a free edition so that you may test it out before upgrading.
Trello’s key features:
- Creating boards and cards for project organization
- Assigning tasks to team members
- Attaching files related to the task
- Setting due dates for completion
- Collaboration with team members in real-time
Podio is another piece of project management software that offers web designers a wide range of features. It includes task management, file sharing, and team chat. This makes keeping track of your projects and web design process even easier.
Podio’s key features:
- Customizable workspaces and task organization.
- Collaboration tools such as commenting, tagging, file sharing, and assigning tasks to team members.
- Automation capabilities with “if-then” rules for a streamlined workflow.
- Integration with other productivity apps such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Evernote.
- Options for public or private workspaces.
- Robust search functionality to easily find tasks, projects, and team members.
- Mobile app for on-the-go productivity.
- Advanced reporting and analytics to track project progress and team performance.
- Option to add custom fields and create unique forms for data entry.
- Secure, reliable cloud hosting with unlimited storage.
Project management software is essential for any web designer who wants to stay organized and on track. There are a lot of different project management tools out there, but Ganttic is one of the best that combines projects with resources. With it you’ll get a high-level project overview that helps you track deadlines, assigned tasks, and progress reports. Ganttic also allows you to create custom workflows with its open API and project templates – keeping projects organized and making everything more efficient.
Ganttic’s key features.
- Drag and drop functionalities for easy task allocation
- Resource scheduling for quick and efficient project planning
- Customizable Gantt chart view for clear visual representation
- Advanced filtering options for streamlined data analysis
- Team collaboration capabilities
- Integrations with various productivity tools, such as Google Calendar, Outlook, and Zapier. Plus, an open API to make your own integrations.
- Free 14-day trial.
- Unlimited client support and personalized demos on demand.