• Marcel van Werkhoven, over 2 years ago

    Although I also don't have a team of 30 there are some valuable lessons in this piece. I would say that with smaller teams managing resources is even more important as time and budget is limited.

    • In 2015 we had a 5% loss
    • In 2016 our company had a profit of ~10% after cutting costs (this included turning off empty servers and the likes, the margins are in everything)
    • In 2017 we upped that to 20%/25% (we're still crunching the 2017 numbers)

    One of the things we did, is that we really cut down the fat in the development pipeline. Re-use assets between projects and even recycle left-overs to create something new. We also limited the number of 'systems' that we work with, meaning we limited it to just our own custom CMS and WordPress (with just 1 template/site-builder) as opposed to 10 different WordPress packages and a bunch of other things. We've become more aware of what we spend our development time on and see if we can adapt say the booking form for a travel agency to a car rental company and/or restaurant as well, instead of building everything from scratch.

    At first we were afraid that our clients wouldn't like that some of their websites look the same but in reality they really enjoy having an 'eco-system' of roughly the same designs with adaptions for their different projects. They surprisingly even like having the same characteristics as other client websites. We also try to re-sell the modules that we think are really good, such as our customizable booking form to other clients.

    One of the things that really helped with this was Notion a sort of Wiki with all our code snippets and assets. I'm now looking into creating some sort of project database where we can easily add all our websites and add some tags like 'form', 'blog', 'page-transition' etc. so we can better archive all that we've made.

    I wouldn't change your entire workflow and start going modular for every project(as the time an money mostly isn't there), but having a good archive of what you've already build and being more aware about what you build and why you build its is a valuable lesson to be learned.

    3 points
    • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, over 2 years ago

      Yeah I have a similar experience, and I think I'm reacting more to the overall trend of "Design Systems" articles and other large design team written articles lately rather than this specific one which really is scoped more to just symbols and documentation of those symbols which my two-person team does as well.

      We also have a brand/code guide, but we've struggled to keep it up to date with rapid design iterations and struggled to enforce better developer implementation of those guides.

      1 point
      • Dan OC, over 2 years ago

        What I have seen over the past few years is how the expectations of developers and designers have changed so drastically and the list skill sets they should possess has just continued to grow.

        In reality, there are very few, real, 'full-stack' designers or developers and everything ends up being watered down. It seems to create a void somewhere between design and development.

        It really feels like a hybrid design-developer role should become more of a thing.

        1 point