It is a good idea to always have a graphic or website designer that’s readily available and is familiar with your business. Even if you don’t need their services all the time, having a go-to designer will allow you to have a pay-per-job team member that understands your branding completely. To get the most out of your relationship with your website designer, follow these tips.
Know Your Basics
Before you send over a project for your graphic designer, it is good to understand the five basic elements of web design. They are:
- Overall aesthetic
Make sure your instructions or brand guide hit all of these points briefly. If you don’t give instructions on one, the web designer may go off brand and you will end up either loving it or hating it. When you give feedback after each draft, comment on each aspect of these elements to keep discussion on track and constructive. Being able to provide honest feedback will help you see the end result you want and help your designer execute the brief.
Now that you know the basics of design, it is time to utilize those in your specific instructions. Not only should you hit all of those elements in your design, but you should also provide examples that are similar to the visions in your head. Concrete examples will help steer your designer in the right direction with fewer timely edits.
Remember – your first draft is not going to be perfect and that’s okay, things can be subjectively interpreted by both parties. Designers know they may have to do a few edits to be spot on and they include that in their price quote. To keep momentum and avoid delays, aim for as few edits as possible, by making sure you are specific in your feedback. Instead of using catchy buzzwords as instruction (for example: wow factor), describe exactly what you are looking for.
Establish Realistic Time Frames
Before beginning the project, you and the designer need to agree on realistic time frames. Don’t come to the designer last minute with a poster or brochure that you need to print in two days. You will not be satisfied and it will blow your budget. Equally don’t be afraid to communicate expectations for a deadline. Graphic designers have a lot of specialized skills and knowledge with project planning and can often work with you. You need to give them time for the initial drafts, subsequent edits, and clarify when the final should be expected.
Your graphic designer wants guidance to get the project right. He or she wants to be able to answer your questions and also take feedback to make the project as perfect as possible. If this requires asking about certain elements, telling them to chill out on another aspect, or asking them to do a little more be open about communicating this with them. If you’re reasonable, they’ll often want to please you and accommodate your feedback.
But Don’t Be Overly Controlling
On the other hand, your web designer is a resource for you to get the best design results. You want to give him or her specific guidance to complete the project to your satisfaction, but you also need to trust them to utilise the skills you are paying them for.
Don’t tell them the exact way the pictures need to be arranged or how to use colors best because you like it better that way. Trust in their professional experience to handle specific details which make designs more appealing to the end customer. They’ll sense this vote of confidence and will often be more forthcoming with any valuable input you may not have considered yet.
Realise perfection is unrealistic
Realize the project is never going to be perfect. You can obsess over it all you want, but there will be a time when there is nothing more you can do with it. At this point, take a step back and look at the project from the perspective of the end customer. If on reflection, it appeals to them, and if your designer can explain to you why elements he or she chose will appeal to customers then feel assured you’ve fulfilled the brief.
The design process can be a stressful process full of uncertainty, and if managed incorrectly can become costly and delay your overall project. By establishing effective communication and a collaborative relationship with your graphic and website designers, you’re likely to have a high success rate and a positive ongoing relationship. This will mean high quality visual collateral for your business will be easier to acquire in a timely and affordable way.
This article was contributed by Magicdust, an Australian digital agency providing online marketing, e-commerce services and quality web design Sydney and Australia wide.
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