How much time should I spend for planning and research? In my custom web design firm, I slot wherever between 3 and 10 hours per project. It may seem like a plenty time but things like content structure and delivery also overall website.
It depends on what the project is and how far the budget will stretch. I'm always researching and getting ideas for projects as I go through them, but I always cram in 3-4 full days research at the start of every project, with more on others.
Meh, I guess I'm a little sloppy on this. If it's web design I usually spend around the first day or so researching designs and ideas, but on the whole I research as I'm going along. Depends what kind of research too - are you talking research into the techniques and functionality, or research into the arena of the customer and what kind of business/clientele/market they're targeting? Obviously for the latter I spend more time on.
Still learning as I go along, I guess. I think whatever works for you and is most cost effective for your business and time.
At work, the job needs to be turned around in 30 min (flyer/magazine advert etc) so I try and take....... 60 seconds to make a quick behance search for inspiration.
For my personal work, ill take an hour or two, depending on the project.
Man I look forward to working on a real project one day.
I actually extend my research time into client time and try to get them involved in the process. I'll usually start by talking with the client and try to create some sort of design brief. After I've got an understanding of what it is they actually want I'll prepare some documents that include a number of designs in styles similar to what they have expressed. This is when I like to sit down with the client and pick apart each of the designs with them and analyse the specifics so that I can better understand what it is they want and avoid that horrible situation of trying to guess at what they want me to do. This is especially helpful for clients who don't really know what they want!
Some times it doesn't work the first time and they end up not liking enough of the designs I've presented, which goes to highlight any possible issues there might be which need to be rectified. It also goes some way to building rapport with the client and there are many opportunities whilst discussing the designs to show your expertise and professionalism, this helps you to establish your credibility as a designer and to reassure the client that they are in safe hands!
Some clients are difficult and need many hours of research, but other times they have clearly communicated what they want and I am able to translate that instantly into a design style in a much shorter time. It does also depend on the type of project you're working on too. If you're in an art worker position such as Alex, you really don't get that level of flexibility because the priorities are completely different, it depends if your client is willing to pay for those extra hours or not, if they don't want to then it needs to be reflected in the amount of hours you are willing to put into their project!
Doing a thorough planning and research requires time, but often a client doesn't understand why he/she should be charged for non-design work. So, in general budget is key to me. In average conditions, 2-to-3 days should be sufficient to go to the next step.