Communication and the Big Picture
When you’re working on a new design for a client, good communication is key. Just recently we’ve run into a situation where an agency keeps having us change little things to try to get the design right for them without stepping back and addressing the larger direction of the whole thing. Granted, it should have been their job to say, “Hey this is way too modern” or “We were really thinking of using some kind of weathered, worn look instead” instead of “the radius of the rounded corner doesn’t look right,” but the reality is most clients don’t know how to communicate this kind of stuff to you. Apparently even some design agencies. They just know it doesn’t feel right, and then they try to fix it with nitpicks (see Nate’s article here).
Well obviously that approach is counterproductive to everyone involved, so we’ve started coming up with a list of things we can do to minimize the damage. This is what we’ve got so far:
- Have the client come up with a list of their competitor’s sites.
- Discuss what they like and don’t like about them.
- Have the client come up with a list of sites that they like
- Take some time to find out why they like them. Is it the information layout? The look and feel?
- I’ve heard moodboards are a good, but we haven’t gotten around to using those yet.
A good designer should be able to tell when their client isn’t digging the overall vibe or direction and get to the root of the problem before they end up in nit-pick land. We’re obviously still learning that, and wanted to get your input. What do you think? Anything you guys can add? Let us know in the comments.