I went to the client’s office with our art director and now he is ready to show various layouts to illustrate the project. He made some minor changes last night so we could not see them together. He opens the laptop and double-click cool.psd.
The colleague who develops the frontend sent an email containing the latest corrections requested by the company that will address the integration. Once unzipped the files, on the desktop appears the folder named WTF.
These are only two examples, but I could easily go on for hours and hours and never repeat myself. Ok_bis_def.zip, another_one.psd, today_i_lack_ideas.png: I have a whole literature of meaningless and embarrassing names.
Tired of spending days to rename the files and send them to different actors (if I still have time) I have developed a simple system of nomenclature which I try to apply and enforce.
The advice is to start as early as the wireframing phase, to continue during the graphic design up to the development of HTML pages. Each wireframe should properly be named before sending it to the art director, who is usually happy to keep the creativity for other tasks.
I’ve tried over the years different types of classifications, but the one that ended up being more effective is the result of a compromise between the highly informative content and ease of application of the rule.
A typical example of the nomenclature would be as follows:
The first two characters indicate the section of the site that the page refers to (in this case HP stands for the homepage, PR for product page and CH for the checkout), while the number indicates the sequence of the page within the section (HP010 may be the main homepage, HP020 a particular version for the Christmas period, etc..). I use tens as units because, if we find out that we forgot a template that “logically” has to be inserted between two others, we can include it (eg. HP015).
As you can see the rule is trivial, but for this reason is also easy to apply. It saved me a lot of time, but in particular it has allowed us to verify at a glance if all the template were made.