#WCORL – Designing a process that gets things done

This post is part of the series #WCORL 2014

Other posts in this series:

  1. #WCORL – WordPress JSON REST API
  2. #WCORL – Designing for development, the value of collaborative design
  3. #WCORL – Write Better Documentation

Speaker: Karena Kreger
Twitter: @karenalenore
Speaker’s notes: www.openskywebstudio.com/design-process (has slides!)


If it’s something you’re repeating, find a system for it.

  • You will know what to expect, it will help making things predictable, more efficient.
  • Helps you be an expert and manage expectations
  • History is less daunting, less scary, because you know what to expect
  • Gives room for growth. Conventions that are being followed in the organisation helps keep control and allows everyone to pick up where others left off


Be a curator of your process, maintain best practices that work for you.

Continue evaluating the process, there’s no setting and forgetting. Things around us keep changing.

You have to assess with your client whether being an early-adopter/cutting-edge is worth the cost. What if it fails? Can they afford starting over?

Also judge if your client is ready for it. Some of them say they are, but really aren’t.



Have somewhere you can play around with. There are a lot of things that leave unwanted things behind. Make sure you have a backup so you can easily nuke all the things and revert back.

Template site

A starting point with all the settings, plugins, and users you know are going to be installed on every website.

Use a framework (like Genesis)

Help with providing otherwise repeated code out of the box. Use a child theme to make your changes, don’t hack into an existing theme to make it do what you want.

Alternatively: Use a starter theme (underscores, roots.io).

Good plugins, bad plugins

Things to look for: Compatibility details, updated date, number of downloads, ratings, reading reviews.


Communication: Trello
File Sharing: Dropbox, Google Drive
Ex. process documents
Updates: InfiniteWP, ManageWP
Tech docs: Track links, passwords per client (requires protocols and naming conventions)


Find a starting point, avoid the curse of the blank slate. Learn how to spot and save cool stuff and apply it to clients.

Example: colourlovers.com for colour palettes.