You know what!
I cannot overemphasize this:
Communication is key to a successful relationship between clients and service provider –especially when it comes to creating websites.
Charles of CKDigital spells it out clearly that it’s important to open communication channels all the way through out a website building project.
After you may have rounded off with your designs as seen in previous video, it’s time to send what you’ve got to the client.
If you have not seen video, do kindly email me.
Personally, I love to really get satisfied within when it comes to design.
For every good designer, there is always a longing to keep going on until you get it right.
Some say it’s analysis-paralysis but I say it’s getting your innermost fulfillment on any design project.
Now in getting it right, remember it’s a win-win position for client and you.
The getting right the visuals is to satisfy your design inklings, your inner longing because you definitely will have your signature, imprint and website development credit will come to you –helping your SEO campaign also.
So you ought to do it right.
And what’s the big take here?
Satisfy the client.
Do Your Own Personal Editing And Visual Assessment.
After you may have satisfied yourself, the next thing is to ensure you do a little extra visual editing and assessment to ensure the client is pleased.
In areas where the client may have enforced a certain element in the design, create an option where you tilt the outlook to have that professional feel.
It will really amaze you how a lot of clients depend on designers to get their project up and running.
On the flip side? They want you to do as you’re told and “that’s the way I want it.”
I was in a chat with my former Executive Editor in his office and he shared that the publishing world needs more of the creative soul than the journalist’s pen. He pointed that journalists depends on the artists these days to come up with visual concepts that can even inspire the writer on the angle their articles would go. The best image that would tell the story can help the writer, to a very large extent, come up with a great story piece.
The Extra That Differentiates You
Design, as I always say, is a lot of hardwork.
You must be willing to put in much due diligence on your visuals.
I like to see design to be more of an intellectual work than basic visual computer work.
Earlier, I mentioned that website designers should not just see themselves like mere web page designers but should see themselves as Visual Consultants, VCs.
Your design must show proof of strategic thinking.
Remember Toyota’s once had a slogan: “Good thinking, good product”
This is the extra thing you must find somewhere in your design to incorporate. This extra thing separates you from other designers flooding the industry.
Mr. Femi Jolaolu of MASTAS Digital Centre, Lagos said we should change our positions from mere graphic designers to Visual Journalists or Visual Editors.
Abi wetin you go school for if you no fit tink?
Though positions or posts won’t guarantee this, we should all build ourselves to that level by always putting on our thinking cap.
Abeg! Let a fresh eye see it
When I was new in my design career, I really took other people assessing or criticizing my design very personal.
I’d always wanted to by-cut the criticism end and prefer the client to see and be wowed by it.
A lot of times, I didn’t get the expected wow.
In some worse scenario, I got words like: “this design is disorganised; it makes no sense; is of no good” statements like: “I can bet that it’s not Sylvanus that did this design. It’s so repulsive!.”
On such of my down days, I would just recoil into my shelf feeling really bad about myself – wondering if I’d ever make a good designer.
With my colleagues, most times, I could just summon the sanguine in me and turn such statements into great jokes that we’ll all laugh over.
On some occasions after submitting my visuals for assessment, I’ve had great, inspiring and motivating words like: “this design is brilliant, great, fresh.”
It’s not always bad you know. That’s just how it is.
Here’s the catch.
The fact still remains that you are not your best assessor.
No matter how good you know you are especially when you are designing for a client or an audience, you need to meet their needs and be open to their critics.
Learn to take them!
The idea at the end is to ensure someone else sees your designs.
In doing this, you need to ask them emotion-based questions like: “How do you feel about this web page design?” You may further ask “What do you think about the concept in this website project?”
Those are questions that could spur greater and better response (from the heart) that would really help critics voice their candid view about your design.
Open Door Critic And Closed Door Critic
Sometimes, I can make do with people that criticize your work openly (even the negative ones, I will come to this later).
These people can simply tell you the truth.
On the other hand there are some that would say things like: “Well, the design is fine sha!” but at the end, when you would have finalised with the design project, they now bring up suggestions that could really have helped in the initial process of your design.
They could even suggest a great, winning idea that would really be the cracker but they just seem not to want to talk –especially at the right time.
Personally, I don’t like comments like: “this design is fine sha!” and “this design is not good”
There must be something specific that makes it “fine sha” or “not good”
Is the client seeing the concept?
All designs should be functional -reflecting the client’s needs, objectives and then the next thing to bug yourself about as a designer is aesthetics or the “fine sha” kind of statements.
Constructive Criticism vs Destructive Criticism:
Be ready for all.
What do I mean?
I tell people that criticize works of creativity that there is nothing like: “this design is not good” kind of statement.
For a designer to take his time through the process of generating a concept through sometimes rigorous thinking process and then designing to bring something on paper or screen is first worth commending in the first place.
Please if you’re in such position to critic creative work, do kindly consider what I just said.
The way to go if you have something that you don’t like about the work is just to simply be polite about the whole talk.
You could say something like: “you know this is a great effort you put here, why not we do another option where you trace this image, or change this colour scheme or find a more classical, contemporary typographic style to use and let’s see how it looks.”
Let me leave you to decide.
This would go a long way to boost the morale of the designer and he’ll be a lot more than willing and happy to do another option incorporating your suggestions other than outrightly condemning his work.
A lot of employers really don’t know how to manage creative designers especially when it comes to working relationships.
The best ever Senior Colleague I have ever had in my working career made a lot of impact in my life.
When I was working with a Design/Pre-Press agency in Lagos, Nigeria, Mr. Femi Jolaolu would always commend you first for the hard work and then politely suggest points of improving the design.
Though this is quite understandable because he is also a creative designer, despite that, as a senior colleague (being the MD of the firm at the time), he never lorded or forced anything down on us neither did he ever condemn our work.
We were ever motivated to do more.
He created the environment of freedom of expression for all the designers working with him.
He had the best team ever in the history of the company till he left – this I can attest to any day, any time.
Just quote me.
In this video, I show you how you can send visuals to the client.