Design speak : Communicating with creatives
That's it. It's time for you to make a logo, revamp your website or advertise your business. You reach out to a designer to get the job done, but it seems the two of you are speaking a different language and nothing is moving forward as planned. Instead of throwing in the towel, try these tips to get the most out of your design project.
1/ Be specific
To keep things clear from the get-go so your project moves forward quickly and painlessly, give as many details as possible at the beginning of the process, provide feedback frequently and be specific when doing so. Vague comments like, “Make it pop,” or “I don’t like it” will not help your designer align with your vision. Explain what you don’t like and why.
2/ Use examples
Designers are visual people. Showing them examples of projects you like and dislike will give them better insight into what your expectations are and how to approach the project. This can be helpful during the feedback process as well. Trying to describe certain visual aspects is not always the easiest of tasks. By showing visual example you can avoid going around in endless circles of edits because of a simple miscommunication.
3/ Ask questions
Don’t assume your designer understands everything about your project. Whether you are wondering how a certain element aligns with the projects’ purpose; how long this round of revisions will take; or if you are unclear on their process – ask your designer about it. There is no such thing as a silly question, and by maintaining an open dialogue you will establish good communication with your designer – the core to a great working relationship.
4/ Be present
There is nothing more frustrating for a designer than no feedback. It stalls projects, cuts momentum and can damage the designer-client relationship. By being present to answer questions and provide feedback, your project will move forward without a hitch.
5/ Use the right language
Creatives don’t expect you to know all the technical jargon but familiarizing yourself with a few key terms will help get the point across and reduce the risk of misunderstandings. Buffer’s list of 52 terms is a great place to start.
We all know it can be hard to let go of an idea once you’ve got your mind set to it… But that doesn’t always mean it is the best idea. Your designer’s experience is invaluable and listening to their guidance will ensure the project’s success.
7/ Trust the process
Nothing kills creativity like micro-management. Staying connected and providing feedback are essential to a project’s success, but nitpicky directives that turn you into the designer and turn your designer into a tool will not end well.
On the other hand, if you have no idea what direction the project should go in, it is ok to trust your design team. An experienced designer will ask the right questions so that they can get started and will ask for feedback frequently to make sure you both continue to be on the same page.