Echo 11 :: Ben Jordan – Process of The Process

Ben Jordan is a mix of designer, illustrator, developer, director, project manager and business owner. He has been passionate about all things creative and web since he first laid his hands on a keyboard in the early 90s. At the age of 12 he was sure that a future as a Disney animator or comic book illustrator was it for him. That was until he met this wonderful, every changing thing called the Internet. Currently Ben serves and Co-Founder, User Experience Director and Office DJ for BigBadCollab, a design studio in Dallas, TX. There, with his amazing team, he builds everything from simple brochure websites to complex web applications for both the Church and Fortune 500 companies. With over 800 web projects under his belt, he brings a unique experience base and has truly seen it all. He hates Papyrus (the font not the plant), Internet Explorer and table-based web sites. He loves design, tattoos, music, Apple products, open source projects, and the Internet.

Rant:

  • What are we doing with social icons now?
  • If you’re doing slides or an event, don’t just put a Facebook logo.

What is this process thing you speak of?

  • When you manage one brand, you get into brand boredom at times. Things happen and you might get stuck.
  • You may work on a project that doesn’t excite you.
  • But this is where process comes in.
  • Process is king

Processes are everywhere

  • You can’t do things out of order when you’re working on a sign.
  • But this doesn’t really translate well into other types of projects.
  • Many times you might make up your own process.
  • One of the processes I like to disrupt
    • Go to chipotle and try to order without them asking you any questions
    • I try to break processes as well as create them

Processes are and should be organic

  • As you go through them you should be allowed to change them
  • The length of time, tools, ways that you do things should be allowed to change
  • Processes are not rigid, but they are frameworks

The Power of the Process

  • Gets you ready to go. Mindset.
  • A checklist helps get ready for what you are about to work on
  • Make sure you start in order
  • Helps you know what is coming next
  • Helps you forecast path
  • If you get lost, it can help you find where you are
    • Create a roadmap
  • Helps you anticipate next move
  • See who’s court the ball is in
    • Make sure the ball is never in your court at the end of the day
    • Go through emails at the end of the day
    • Plan your workload so you can do small snippets of work and put the ball in their court
  • Tells you when to add or shift resources
    • Know when it is time to engage different people, like your designer, developer, etc.
  • Prevents you from wasting time
  • Helps you make accurate projections
    • Am I giving accurate projections?
  • Actually lets you say no!
    • If you want the accurate projection you can tell someone “no.”
  • See where you are terrible
  • Process can be your scape goat
  • Manage scope creep

Who should you use a process?

  • Everyone
  • When you make your process make your first steps, “turn off twitter, Facebook, and find some chill music.”
  • designers.mx
  • quote of the breakout “nickelback = death”

How to build a process from scratch

  • How to prepare for a meeting
    • Know what kind of meeting it is
    • Come up with intelligent questions that I know need to be asked
    • Ask detail oriented questions
    • Don’t just ask questions to ask them, but ask them because you need a result
    • Recap the meeting with them and get approval and then forecast
    • Do not schedule meetings back to back ever!
    • After the meeting, recap it with yourself

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