5 Tips for Working With Designers

Or... how to make your site re-design project move quickly and suck less

What most people don’t understand when they come to us looking for a brand new site or a site revamp is that even if we are in charge of everything from site mapping, wireframing, logo, iconography, copywriting and site buildout…there’s still a lot of work for them to do on their end.

Here’s a quick little secret for those of you looking for design work in the near future:

A project’s quickness and success is only as good as the client’s participation and communication.

For us the number one reason for launch date delays is due to a delay in communication and asset gathering from the client. Of course, there are a few tricks freelancers and studios can do to improve communication (which I will cover in my next blog) but even the largest and most expensive studio in the world can only get so far without needing the client to jump in and do their ‘Homework’.

So, whether you’re working with a design studio or a freelancer for your next project, here are 5 tips to help your project run as smoothly as possible

  1. Have an idea in mind… and say it! It’s better to have somewhat of an idea in mind as to what you want before reaching out to a studio or freelance designer – and more importantly, say it right off the bat. Sure, you might say that you’d rather have them figure it all out, and really mean it. But deep down, there is a particular style or site that inspires you. So before going too far down the design hole, get it all out in the open so that neither parties are disappointed with the outcome.
  2. Be willing to be flexible. You have great ideas and we and any other designer should respect your overall vision. However, you sought professional help in order to get an expert opinion on your project, which means things will change. Either the site flow that you imagined isn’t right for your audience or medium, or there’s a better way of presenting your material in a more simplistic and meaningful way, and that’s when you should trust your designers instincts and experience. Also some idea may be cool…but you would have to have Amazon’s budget to make it happen. So be prepared for things to change.
  3. Know your project scope. If your project scope changes in the middle of the project (which it most likely will) just know that your final design bill will probably change as well. Often times once the project gets rolling, the client’s imagination gets rolling too. And that’s awesome!! However, that will change the labor required to get the project done, which will change the quotes price for your project. So if you’re on a tight budget, list out everything that you want your site to feature and stick with it – saving all possible additions for V2.
  4. Have your assets ready! Unless you are simply re-working what you currently have and nothing more, chances are you are going to have to be prepared to provide a good amount of assets (i.e. vector logo art, product images, team photos, site photos, a bio for your about page – or something for the copywriter to take inspiration from, etc.). This is where we find the biggest delay takes place. As much as we would love to be able to whip up an archive of your past projects, or photos from you when you were eight…it’s just not possible. So having your photos and any existing artwork ready to pass off ASAP will keep the project moving quickly, stress-free and eliminate a good 50% of unnecessary “can you send X?” emails.
  5. Be Responsive. If you’re hoping to have a project completed in a month but you average a week or more to respond to emails, and then a fast turnaround just won’t be possible. Now we know clients are busy running their businesses and barely have time to eat, let alone respond to emails about their redesign project. However, allocating the time necessary to stay in communication with your designers will allow you to reap the benefits of your new website, site skins, branding, etc. much sooner. Which ideally means more customer acquisitions and more money in your pocket.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any more tips? Comment below!

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