Why Every Designer Needs Proper Documentation

If you are an enthusiastic designer, it can be tempting to forge ahead with creating your latest product without thinking about the paperwork until much later in the process.

Of course documentation procrastination is a problem for a number of reasons, so here is a look at the advantages that come with taking this aspect seriously from day one.

Collaboration is streamlined

Even if you start a project solo, the likelihood is that others will get involved quickly, at which point being able to share significant details quickly and clearly will be an important requirement.

Design documents not only fuel collaboration in this context, but also help to unify the core concepts and principles behind a design, as well as giving team members a single goal to work towards. At a time when more people are working remotely than ever, proper documentation has never been as impactful.

Editing is easy

A perk of the digital age and the emergence of superfast connectivity in conjunction with cloud computing means that it is simple to create design documentation and also to edit and add to it as necessary.

Whether you are converting a PDF to Word to let others make additions, or distributing any number of other formats with team members via a shared cloud infrastructure, editing documentation is invariably convenient.

Innovation is inspirational

Unless you are able to properly articulate what you want to do and how you want to do it, the design process can be a somewhat isolating one. This is again where proper documentation can be a valuable tool, since it should serve to help demonstrate the inspiration behind your ideas, the aims you hope to achieve and the reasons for doing so.

All of this comes together to form a coherent narrative that underpins the design and indicates its significance to others in the team, in turn motivating them to give it their all when they are required to contribute.

Problems can be pinpointed

Forging ahead with a design concept without considering the needs and expectations of the target audience can lead to obvious issues being overlooked until it is too late. Conversely if you include a thorough investigation of these aspects in documentation early on, you can highlight flaws in your design sooner rather than later, long before testing.

Once again, the benefit here is that by putting down your ideas and forcing yourself to scrutinize them from a different perspective, you will have a more balanced view of the project and also be more open to criticism going forward.

Updates can be integrated

Design documentation will ultimately track the journey that a project takes from its inception to launch, and handling this properly will give you a paper trail to refer back to. Likewise you can get into the good habit of making additions and including relevant updates as changes occur and milestones are reached.

In short, the best designers are not only able to turn concepts into tangible products, but do so with a solid foundation of documentation behind them. This applies whether you are designing a website or the latest electronics.

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