Organization is important. It keeps you focused, it helps you stay organized, it helps you accomplish your goals, and it saves money. Organization can be challenging for designers because we often have a lot going on at once. We need to keep track of client files, project budgets, team members’ workflows, and more. And if something isn’t organized well enough if there’s not enough structure or if things are too messy it becomes harder for us to get things done quickly and efficiently. You can keep your team organized and on track with a consistent project folder structure. It’s helpful for all members of the design team to have the same file names and be able to find things quickly. A well-organized file system allows you to find what you need when you need it, no matter which member of your team needs it at the time. If you don’t have one, there will always be confusion about where something should go or who has access to what files at what point in time.
A great benefit to having a good organizational system:
The client knows where their material is kept (and who has access). This means they can easily send new work through email or upload files directly into Dropbox through our platform so everyone involved in the project knows right away when there’s new work available!
How to organizes
Organizing your project folders in advance can save a lot of headache later on. The more organized you are, the easier it will be to find what you need when you need it. The best way to do this is by creating a project folder structure that makes sense to you and your workflow. I like to create six main folders: one for each of my design process. Within these folders, I break down the types of files that pertain specifically to that project. I use a system of folders named as follows:
00 – Project management (Kick-off briefing, meeting notes, contracts proposals)
01 – Strategy (Project Requirements, Key Objectives, etc.)
02 – Discovery (Design research, Competitor Analysis etc.)
03 – Architecture (Sitemap, Wireframes, flowcharts, etc.)
04 – Explorations (Art direction, styleboard & moodboards )
05 – Design ( Assets, Concepts, Prototypes )
06 – Development (Hand-off files, doc design specifications, design working files, graphic assets)
Name your assets with clear and concise names so everyone knows what they do without having to go into much detail about them. You don’t want this text getting obscured by other items when bringing up lists!
- Replace any blank spaces with underscores "_" in file names.
- Design files should be titled according to section (homepage, product detail, etc.), with numbers coming first, then letters (01a, 01b, 02a, etc.).
- I write the filenames in lowercase
- The folder structure should be as simple as it gets, with as few folders within folders as possible!
All of my design files are structured based on their deliverables. By using this method throughout all of your projects, your deliverables folder will always stay clean and easy to update as well as find specific assets for reference.
- Don’t delete older files use a archive folder to move them to.
- Make backups, external hard drive, Google Drive. If you lose your files you can punch yourself in the face:)
- Share files online with dropbox
I hope this article has helped you understand the importance of project folder structure for designers. From organizing your assets to creating custom naming conventions, there are many ways to keep your team productive and on track. Remember that the key is consistency!