Proper communication is key for any successful design project
Your talent and hard work on a design project are just half of the factors which are essential for completing it successfully. Proper communication with your customer before, during and after the process is crucial as well.
You may have created a perfect design for a website ordered by a customer but once you show it to them they can be dissatisfied with the end result. The main reason for such unpleasant situations is the lack of proper communication between you and them.
Often, designers fail to meet the expectations of their customers and end up with unhappy clients who have a product which is nothing like what they wanted. Another problem is the failure of the designer to explain how the product will help accomplish the goals of the client, and often due to complaints, the designers are forced to spend hours reworking a project and turning it into something which has nothing to do with their expertise, talent and best practices.
This is why, the following communication practices are essential if you want your design work to be appreciate and if you want both sides to be happy at the end of the project:
This is especially important if you want to save time, money and frustration of having to completely redo a project after you are done. Make sure that you sit down with the customer and specify the exact process, the timeline, the expected results and the shared responsibilities. This will save you from unpleasant surprises after taking up a new design project.
You need to make sure that the client knows that you can not only simply do the work you are being hired for, but that you are the best person to choose for this particular job and will help them achieve their goals or resolve any problems with your professional end product.
Get this in writing too. Write down the goals which the customer has for this project as well as how the success rate will actually be measured.
Arrange that you and the customer exchange information regarding the progress of the project at least once a week. Make sure you let them know what stage you are at and what is yet to be done on a regular basis.
Do not be tempted to wander away from what is included in the scope of the project. Instead, stay focused on doing exactly what you are being paid for. If your client comes up with additional requests outside the scope agreed upon them make sure that you let them know that this is not part of your agreement and thus cannot be expected form you if they are not willing to pay for the additional services.
Inform your client about your working hours and working days, so that they can get in touch with you if necessary only when you are working, and refrain from contacting you when you are resting or outside of the set timeframe.
Efficient communication will make your and your customer’s life much easier and the design project work much more enjoyable.
When you are about to start a new design project you may feel a bit daunted by the idea of all of the various project stages which you will need to go through including: the brainstorming, sketching and discussing ideas, feedback exchanging, prototyping and drafting. All of this may seem quite overwhelming when you are at the start line.
Don’t worry! Here are some tips on making this entire process less nerve-racking and to help you remain motivated and excited about your new project instead:
This is the first thing you should do before beginning work on a new design project. Make sure that you create a proper plan and timeline which gives you sufficient time to complete each small step instead of rushing it or panicking because you don’t have time. Proper planning will allow you to relax and will help motivate you.
In order to enhance your creative flow, jot down and sketch any single idea you get during the brainstorming stage. This will help you assess your current creative flow and whether or not it is at optimal level at the moment.
Although it is all about the user experience, but for us designers the visual aesthetics are an essential element of the design project, right? So, have some fun with the colors patterns or fonts in order to visualize the end result. Don’t get too carried away though and let the visual dictate the user experience!
Feel free to discuss the design with your colleagues, family or friends. This will help you get out of a creative slump and help improve your move and get those creative ideas flowing. This is an easy and fun way to get your project flowing in accordance to your planned timeline.
Yes working on the visual part is possibly the best part of design, but the important and main part of your design project should always be solving user experiences in the most creative way. This is why you should release your creativity and do some sketching in order to work out the perfect solution. It is exceptionally motivating to look at the progress you have made at the end of the day!
Going through all your e-mails first thing in the morning can take up too much of your precious time and energy, so try focusing all your attention into brainstorming your design ideas instead? Fresh ideas come from fresh and rested minds, so leave the exhausting e-mail reading and replying for after work.
So, set up your plan and get out your sketchbook out now – you will find it is much easy to kick start a new design project if you follow these six simple steps.