Design Corner: 5 mistakes to avoid with your designer
The perfect designer doesn’t exist. The perfect client doesn’t exist. Anyone who tells you either of these things is true is trying to sell you something. Of course, some are better than others. This article will cover 5 mistakes to avoid with your designer so that you can get the most out of your hired design team.
A bank must operate with very consistent and strict procedures. Every process has been thought out, planned, and executed so that the same outcome is realized every time. A design agency does not operate the same way and neither do the designers.
The designer has to think of new ideas or arrange old ideas in a new way. No manual exists that instructs us on the correct approach to every project. There are moments of inspiration and creativity where the ideas flow with the intensity of Niagara. There are dry spells that challenge any desert on this planet. In the end, what matters is if you are pleased with the final deliverables. The goal of any agency should be to meet and exceed your expectations with the project they are tasked with. In no particular order, here are some things to avoid that could hinder those outcomes.
What mistakes to avoid with your designer
1. Micromanaging the design process
Creative arts are not always done on banker’s hours. Every project should have a target date, a couple benchmarks and a pre-determined process. There is no issue with keeping your design team accountable. However, attempting to micromanage the process by asking for daily or weekly updates can sour the relationship pretty fast. As long as your hired design team hits those pre-set time goals, let them do their work in their way.
I have worked with designers that cram like it’s a mid-term set the day after spring break ends. Honestly, those can be some really fun sessions to see unfold. Some designers are more methodical in their approach and might tick away 15 minutes a day until the project reaches finality. Both processes are effective. What matters most is your expectations being met or surpassed by the final product. If you want to see what a process looks like check it out here
2. Holding back critique
Designers are not mind readers. Any designer that cannot accept constructive feedback on a project you are paying for them is in the wrong line of work. It is vital for a design team to receive communication on the elements of a project that are unsatisfactory. The provided feedback helps us to adjust the design, the approach, or even circle back for a better understanding of what the client expects.
There are certainly positive and negative ways to deliver this criticism. Please understand that the designer is a human so presenting the information very matter-of-factly or even nicely is appreciated. Delivering insults or questioning the career path of your designer is largely frowned upon. We need you to be honest and sometimes blunt with us so that we can do our best work for you. Of the mistakes to avoid with your designer, this would be towards the top of the list.
3. Asking for a rush job
We have all been there. Under the gun and have to get something done fast. In almost all cases, this can be avoided with the proper planning. As has been mentioned before, the creative design process is not always on command. Designers need the time to create, step back, become disgusted with, tinker, and then finally reach something they like. From those steps comes some of the amazing work that clients pay designers for each and every day. Having an emergency is okay every once in a Halley’s comet but after you have developed a professional relationship with a design agency or designer. Rushing a designer only heightens your chances of getting less than excellent work.
4. Trying to haggle down the quoted price
Pricing is never fun. I wish that my design team could give top level work that fit every budget. That is a horrible way to stay in business. We understand that we cannot meet everyone’s budgetary needs. There are places that it is okay, almost expected to haggle over pricing. A flea market or an auto dealer are locations where nobody will think anything of it.
You could probably find someone who can do it cheaper but do not make this mistake of thinking that it’s “just a logo” or ” a simple website”. Years of experience, research, efficiency and effectiveness are the difference when dealing with a professional design agency. You are sometimes paying for another company to not open a lawsuit against you for clear infringement. Other times you are paying for a design that won’t be outdated in 5 or 10 years. It is always in your control to accept the price or to find another designer.
5. Not communicating your expectations
A reputable design agency will try to avoid this at all costs by holding an initial meeting and creating a design brief. It is vital to every design process to clearly communicate what the expectations or scope of the project will entail. My least favorite words to hear are “run with it, I trust ya”. It is the responsibility of the client to outline what they expect from the designer. The task then lays on the feet of the design team to meet those expectations without having to guess at what the client wants to see happen. Furthermore, if a team is given no or vague direction from the very beginning, there will be very little chance of success.
This list of mistakes to avoid with your designer is in no way a complete list. There are plenty of mistakes that both designers make with clients and vice versa. These are some big ones though and if you can try to avoid these, your process should be pretty smooth. A design process is reliant on the two parties working together. Additionally, communication is key. Above all else, try to treat anyone you come across with respect. Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with Edgeview Creative projects.