Share your ideas at the start. If you have a specific vision or image in your mind of what you want or hope something will look like, make sure to share the details of your idea as best you can at the beginning of a project. This way you can avoid being disappointed when your exact vision is not delivered, even if what your designer provided is a good option. If your team or designer thinks your idea won’t work, sharing it at the start will give them opportunity to explain why it won’t work so everyone can move in a better direction.
Be frank. When it comes to your budget, timeline, or your expectations, share as much as you can. We understand that not everything needs to be a masterpiece. But we need to know what parts are really critical to you and where we should invest our time; and where it’s okay to save time and money. Clients can feel “robbed” if something took much longer and therefore was more expensive than planned. On the other hand, it takes time to do our best work, so let us know when you want that.
Let us control the visuals and the words. Our best work happens when we drive both the design and words. Many clients think they’ll just supply the words for a web site to save money, but the result is never as strong as when we can work on the complete messaging simultaneously.
Don’t rush. Sometimes deadlines pop up, but when you can plan ahead and make sure you are giving your designer time to think about the big picture and make sure details are worked out, you will almost always get better results.
Have one point person. It’s hard when we get conflicting feedback or people just raising questions. We understand that multiple people often have to review and sign-off on something. But it’s most efficient when one person is filtering the feedback to us.
Organize your information. Keep updates grouped together and organized. Performing content updates a little at a time takes longer overall then doing them all at once. Every time we get restarted by logging back into your site and refocusing on your content takes time. It’s easier to make several updates when they are all together rather than 10 emails with 1 modification each.
Clarify your edits. Present changes clearly, rather than making your designer dig all over to find what you want to change. Write it out clearly, using the Google Sheet. For example, “on the home page, change paragraph 3 from “…” to “…”,” or use a different text color for your changes.
Describe the problem, not the solution. For example, rather than say “make the text bigger, bolder and blue” say “this text is really important and needs to stand out more.” When we get a string of very specific design requests, they often don’t all work together. And by the way, statements like, “make it pop” are the worst.
You’ll maximize the value from your designer if you inform her of your goals; far beyond the specifics of the design project at hand. These last tips will show you how.
Trust your designer. If your designer is asking questions and pushing you for information it’s so that we know we are going in the right direction. Marketing, user experience, brand positioning and your business goals all influence design. Knowing details about you and your company helps guide us to the right solution for you.
Listen and learn. Let us educate you about some of the many peripheral issues that factor into a design. For example, we might make decisions about the web site layout so that it will look good on both desktop and mobile devices. Or, we may make recommendations about email open rates that may be affected by your graphics.