Client Relationship Management: Ending the Client vs. Designer Feud
As a designer or creative director, you've probably had the Managing projects and client relationships is a delicate matter and a two-way street. Clearly define how many rounds of revisions are included in your fee. Managing good client/designer relationships is a lot like dating. only makes the creative process comprehensible, it also defines when and where there will be. No, the best designs are born from a client-designer relationship that follows these three steps: clear role definition, honest & open.
The reason I mention that the client needs to offer design problems, not solutions, is because it is easy to get the two confused. When the client starts making design solution suggestions, as opposed to design problem suggestions, two things usually happen: Why does this happen? Because, in the example above, if the designer just does as the client asks, the end result will be a poster with an oversized logo set in a poor font. If the client had known to suggest design problems — and, on the flipside, if the designer had coaxed the problem out of the client, as opposed to just accepting their solution — the end result could have solved the problems properly and aesthetically without resulting to poor design decisions made by someone not necessarily well-versed in design.
So many designs have fallen short of their potential because either the designer or the client has been too reluctant to speak openly about the work. Be sure to tread that line carefully.
3 Steps To Improving Client-Designer Relationships | Paper Leaf
Why is this so important? Think long term — if you know that this concept will not be effective, the client will not be happy down the road when their marketing campaign falls flat; in fact, they just might blame you. Many designers think of a wireframe as a prototype of the entire site, created in HTML. While such detailed wireframes can be useful, polished prototypes to this level of detail are unnecessary to achieve design sign-off. In our experience, a collection of simple, hand-drawn sketches of some key pages is sufficient for the client to understand how the design will look.
Additionally, the low barrier to entry means the client can be involved in wireframing too.
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- Client Relationship Management: Ending the Client vs. Designer Feud
- 3 Steps To Improving Client-Designer Relationships
Clients are often just as capable of sketching ideas as the designer and should be encouraged to do so. That said, hand-drawn sketches can become confusing after multiple iterations. Therefore, once an agreement has been reached, the designer should produce a final, more polished set that can be used for design testing. Design Testing With mood boards and wireframes in hand, now is the perfect time to see how your target audience will react.
Design testing also brings some subjectivity to the proceedings and can be used to resolve any lingering differences between client and designer read more about design testing in an article I wrote a couple of years ago. Ideally, design testing should consist of two simple tests: However, if you start a project with the mindset of developing a healthy relationship with your client and doing your best, you'll be off to a good start.
Aim for a mutually beneficial professional collaboration where you respect each other's time and ideas. From here, any hiccups along the way will be easier to resolve.
Educate your client about the real purpose of a revision The design process naturally consists of phases. The designer creates a design draft and asks the client for feedback. Revisions are then made with the goal to move closer to the best end result for the client's project and its audience. In other words, revisions are part of the design process and they cannot and should not be avoided.
Rather, they should be done purposefully by keeping in mind the project's objectives. In your first meeting with a new client, explain this process as part of your overall work approach.
You'll set up certain expectations — of both your role and their role. That will give them a clear perspective on how the project will unfold and they'll understand that revisions are part of the process. Knowing these boundaries, they should respect the process you might need to remind them a few times along the way and not take advantage of you by asking for numerous revisions based on their whims.
Unfortunately that does happen. Read on to find out what to do when it does.
Clearly define and articulate what is a round of revision Your client hired you because you're the professional, not them. They may not know exactly what constitutes a "round of revision" — it can be a vague term for someone not familiar with design jargon.Best Client Designer Relationship Tip
Take the time to explain to your client exactly what a round of revision is and include the specifics in your initial estimate and legal contract. Here's how we at InfiniVision define a round of revision for our clients. Once a design draft is presented, the client has a specified number of days to provide their feedback. Once all of their comments, ideas and questions are consolidated and we provide a new version, that's the end of that round of revision.
Professional tip Don't jump into doing a revision right after the client has provided their initial comments.
The Battlefield of Design: Designers vs Clients — SitePoint
Often people have an immediate reaction that changes after thinking about and reviewing the project over time. Give a client enough space to formulate all of their thoughts into a cohesive response, then review and confirm the changes they're requesting. Then and only then, get back to work on it. Following these clear steps in a round of revisions will structure and pace the project in a way that's comfortable for the client and less stressful for you. Clearly define how many rounds of revisions are included in your fee The number of rounds of revisions — based on your professional knowledge of the complexity of the project — should be clearly articulated both in your legal contract and in the initial estimate you send to the client.
The more transparent and informative you are upfront, the less confused your client will be. In the end, your diligence at the beginning will prevent misunderstandings and conflicts throughout the remainder of the process. Clearly define when change requests will be considered extra work and how this will be billed As you know, there are major revisions and minor ones.
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But your client might not realize there's a difference. Give your client clear examples of each so they understand it upfront. For instance, you could say: However, changing a short text phrase here and there is a minor revision. Of course, you can't include every possible scenario in these documents, and many change requests are somewhere in the middle between major and minor.
It's your job to keep educating the client along the way and referring back to the initial examples you provided at the beginning. Keep the client informed about each phase of the design process Most clients aren't aware of the incremental steps a design process entails.
Keeping the client informed about each design phase helps prevent misunderstandings about where you are in the overall process.