In Episode 009, we shared 5 tips for better client communication — ways to educate, serve, and guide your clients through your unique process and experience. But what if you hire a professional brand or web designer — and you become a client? How can you ensure you journey through a seamless process and come away with a brand or web design you love? Today, we’re sharing tips for communication with your designer. Whether you simply want to experience a smooth design process or you have concerns you’d like to address, we hope today’s tips help to equip you for a successful design process!
Tips for Communication with Your Designer
I want to begin today’s episode by sharing, there is a person or people behind every small business. Though every person is unique, I believe a majority of small business owners are kindhearted and helpful — and they want their clients to succeed. Trusting a designer with a part of your business can be challenging and even emotional — so sharing questions or concerns with your designer can feel scary. I hope today’s episode empowers you to share your questions and concerns with your designer in an open and collaborative way. Asking questions and asking for concerns to be resolved doesn’t have to be a scary or angry process, and I hope today’s episode serves as a launching pad for healthy and solutions-focused conversation.
Here are 3 things to do when you have concerns about your design or design process:
- DO get familiar with your designer’s design process. A majority of design businesses offer a built-in revision process through which you can ask questions, share concerns, or request revisions to the design presented. Though every design business is unique, many designers will be open and ready to receive and apply your feedback. At With Grace and Gold, for example, our built-in revision process is all about communicating, collaborating, and journeying toward an approved design — so feedback is something we are eager to receive and apply.
- DO ask for your preferred method of communication. Even if your designer traditionally communicates via email or a project management system, don’t be afraid to ask for your preferred method of communication along the way. As an example, if you have a question or concern you prefer to discuss via phone, ask your designer to schedule a phone call. It’s likely your designer wants to help and guide you, and if a phone call will be helpful, feel free to let your designer know.
- DO ask for what you do want, rather than what you don’t want. Again, every design business is unique, but at With Grace and Gold, we really value hearing about what our clients do want rather than what they don’t want. We prefer to hear what you do want to see — the colors or patterns you do love, the design elements you do appreciate — so we can use our next steps to work toward a design you love and feel proud of. Sharing what you do want, rather than what you don’t want, helps to give the revision process a clear direction.
Conversely, here are 3 less helpful ways to share your questions or concerns with your designer:
- DON’T be afraid to share your concerns. Sharing feedback is an essential part of working toward a design you love and feel proud of — so don’t be afraid to share the feedback your designer is likely eager to receive.
- DON’T wait until the design process is complete to share your concerns. If you’re feeling uneasy or uncertain about a specific aspect of your design, share your concerns right away. That way, your designer will know your concerns and work toward a solution with you. Your designer won’t know your concerns unless they are shared. We think of it this way: The sooner your concerns are shared, the sooner we can collaborate and work toward a solution.
- DON’T demean or degrade your designer or their design business as a whole. Having concerns can feel overwhelming and emotionally-charged, but degrading your designer in personal ways or demeaning their business as a whole can block the path toward a solution. Instead, ask your designer for what you do want — to revisit a particular design, to receive a full refund, or something in between. It’s likely your designer is open, eager to help, and looking forward to providing a solution above all.
In the end, every design business is unique and every business owner is unique, too. Having questions and concerns is a natural part of a creative and evolving process — and when you proactively, openly, and honestly share feedback with your designer, you can equip your designer to guide you toward a solution.