The Magic Behind the Curtain: Managing the Creative Process
Ever wonder how the helium team works their magic to bring you branding and design goodness? Here’s a quick glimpse into our project management process.
It all starts with…you, actually. We’re very lucky to have a group of clients we love working with and there’s always an excitement that ensues when we receive an email that starts with “Hey guys, we need your help”. helium to the rescue! All it takes is a few project details to get our wheels turning on how we can bring your idea to life.
Whether big or small, from an existing or new client, all our projects go through our resident Project Manager, Enid. She might have an uncommon name, but our clients get to know it pretty well as she serves as point-of-contact for most communications. She’s also the human half of our trustworthy project management app, Asana.
Staying organized is by far one of the most important factors of successfully meeting deadlines with an end product you are proud to share. Asana lets us divide every project into easy-to-handle subtasks, it keeps track of everyone’s progress, and gives us a place to have all communications regarding a certain topic in one easy-to-access place.
Other factors that affect the success of meeting deadlines: timely and productive feedback from clients along with knowing when to stop over-complicating things to death! And, of course, there’s every possible form of keeping track of time. From shared iCal accounts to physical desktop calendars, being able to visualize the timeline is an important step to staying on track.
Planning our work backwards from the deadline, we lay out a timeline with internal goals for each step of the process. Time must be left for brainstorming, sketching, sitting back and staring at your work, digitizing your sketches onto the computer, sitting back again and staring at it, working a little bit more on it, and eventually letting it settle in overnight and coming back to it with fresh eyes.
A lead designer, either Ryan or Kelly, is assigned to each project, but collaboration is a huge part of how the magic happens. Bouncing off ideas and cross-examining one another’s work plays a big role in the design process and the whole team pitches in with their fair share of opinions.
At this stage of the process, Dropbox plays a crucial roll in staying organized and on time. We all share a business Dropbox account that gives us access to edit the same working file from inside or outside the office. We honestly can’t remember life B.D. [Before Dropbox].
Once we have product we are absolutely in LOVE with, we prepare the first proof for the client. The power of constructive and well-thought-out feedback is at most times underestimated. We welcome our clients to be part of the process and listen to their thoughts attentively – then again, no one knows your business as well as you. Best-case scenario, which is most of the time for us, we get approval on the first proof. Not-so-best-case scenario, we go through a few rounds of tweaking the final details before handing off the baby, a.k.a the final files, to its proud adoptive parents.
From beginning to end, there you have it – the helium project management process all rolled up into a pretty little blog post for your enjoyment.
Let us know if you have a project you want us to work on @heliumcreative on Instagram or Facebook.