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Alright I am thinking of designing this site for xyz need or customers. Now when i am thinking...ideas that pop up in my mind are about lot of things, which are not necessarily related to graphic design immediately.

Ideas cover from new features, animations, inquiries/theories, user interaction, website layout...to everything else.

Basically ideas are born from new insights that i gain as i go deep into the goal. I could just write them, but some are just too simple to be written down. But i know i will rediscover them like 4 times more because i'll also forget them. Whereas others require more thinking but if i think about them i'll definitely lose the mood that i am in for doing what i am doing now. And it may very well all amount to procrastination.

So it got me wondering is there any tool, strategy, workflow, tips, or anything else that helps in profiting from these ideas.

Tools like that let me store ideas by features double click them to see extra details.

Workflow...like stop every now and then review what you have done..write down things that you think you ought to further research or think about. Also dot down new features that seem very helpful and natural by user's point of view.

or keep notebook/(notepad open) near by to write down whatever is in your mind then later when done go over them..

or one other way would be store ideas but don't implement them but think of them features that you would like to have implemented in next version.

I guess my goal would be to not waste brain cycles, minimize amount of revisions, and mainly not lose brain gems.

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    Notepad and pencil is the traditional tool that has served most people well. – DA01 Apr 7 '14 at 2:38
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Stage One:

  • Paper and Pen OR -Mockup Tools (Balsamiq, Quart, Axure, and the list goes onward)
  • Don't filter anything out
  • Design 30 ways to design a page for each page
  • Post these pages online and allow your favorite community to review this.

Stage Two:

  • Photoshop and Flash (Near Pixel Perfect development) OR
  • HTML, CSS, JQuery (only if you're fast enoughly)
  • Assess your 30 designs and move them down to 10 designs based on the reviews from yourself and your online community. -Take the ten designs that have made the cut and remove the problems people have found with the design. Try to include the positive elements of what people found in the designs your removed.
  • Post these pages online and allow your favorite community to review this.
  • Provide these pages to your internal stakeholders and allow them to provide their feedback

Stage Three:

  • HTML, CSS, JQuery -Assess your 10 designs and move them down to 5 designs based on the reviews from yourself, your online community, and your internal stakeholders. -Take the five designs that have made the cut and remove the problems people have found with the design. Try to include the positive elements of what people found in the designs your removed.
  • Provide these pages to both your internal stakeholders, trusted customers, and external stakeholders (only if external stake holders play a major role in your business) then allow them to provide their feedback
  • Post these pages online and allow your favorite community to review this.

Stage Four:

  • Full Development
  • Assess everything you have collected and select one design.
  • Open beta test your website design on your actual website. Yes, I am aware fo how insane it is to have two websites at once, but is it really crazy to have the opportunity to study the actions of you customers while the use the product as you intend them to use it? Customers interested in the progress fo yoru company will enjoy testing your website for you (beta.somewebsite.com // www.betasomewebsite.com // www.somewebsite.io).
  • If the beta is a complete flop, select one of other five designs based off of the metrics you collected from the open beta and implement that website instead.
  • If the beta was only slightly problematic then revise design to fit what the customers expressed through their opinions or actions on the website.
  • If the beta was a huge success then give yourself a pat on the back and begin implementing the website into an actual master branch of your git.
  • Do not allow internal stakeholder, external stakeholders, or a select group of trusted customers to give their input on this stage of the design process. Only the conversion rates ($$) matter at this point.

Stage Five

  • Full Development
  • Continue improving the site based off the metrics you collect and the historical information you have obtained.
  • +1 for balsamiq... I recently discovered them. Great tool. – Phlume Apr 8 '14 at 16:37
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Pencil and a piece of paper can do wonders and that's what you need for most of the time but if you are not into drawing and stuff, chances are that you might not like going that route. If you are not among one of those traditional types you can use an application like Evernote, SketchBook from Autodesk or anything that works for you. But before going into that sort of stuff my recommendation is that to try the pencil and paper approach first if you haven't already. Turning off your digital devices is a good way to forget the limitations of the web and to come up with great ideas. After you have a clear picture of the end result you can also go back to your computer, look for some brilliant inspirations that others have implemented that doesn't hurt your original idea.

  • i completely agree pencil and paper lets you be creative 110%..but sometimes i am in middle of doing something and i don't want to stop. So i just make a text file name it features and put down things i need to consider about. – Muhammad Umer Apr 8 '14 at 16:48
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I use a pad, note app, and pinterest. Sometimes I think Tumblr would work better but I don't find it works as well on my phone.

The main thing I use is a yellow pad though. If its not with me thats when I turn to the note app which I use ColorNote but there's tons of them and they all work the same.

I hear Evernote is terrific but never felt the need to use something so thorough for my needs.

As far as website specific ideas I'm not too sure since I'm not usually working on web. But what I have done in the past is used illustrator and just completely ignore the artboard. Since its all vector I can use different shapes, fonts, and sizes and just zoom in and take item-specific notes at very small sizes -- or zoom out and take broader notes with a larger font. Its worked for me.

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I've always found a simple notepad and pen allows you to project, capture and explore your thoughts best. Plus using Evernote on your phone enables you to absorb all other types of ideas and media into your ideas.

These two simple assets cover all bases and are portable enough to take everywhere.

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