What to do when your designer doesn’t understand what you want
Design is an art, and successful design is rooted in clear communication between the client (you) and the designer (us). While we, as designers, try our hardest to understand exactly what the client wants, it’s easy for subtle details to get lost in translation. Below are some ways to help us understand exactly what you’re looking for.
Understand the difference between design and content
Remember that text and photos are completely changeable. Most of the time, we’ll use stock photos and placeholder text if we haven’t already received content from you. These things can easily changed through the content management system, which we’ll train you how to use. Instead, focus on things like the font, image placement and other design elements like colors. These items are what’s important to get right during the design phase because it can be a pain to change them once we start development.
Try to avoid generalities and cliches when you’re telling us what you want, and be as specific was possible. A generalized expression like “make it pop” or “it’s missing something” will mean something different to every client we meet and every designer you meet. We won’t know what you consider to be a “wow factor” so we really need your help in understanding exactly what you mean. Some examples of specific instructions, brighter colors, more contrast, larger or smaller headers, more dynamic typeface, add motion or animation to banner images, add mouse-over features. These are much less ambiguous requests, and will get us on the right track much more efficiently.
Show examples of what you’re looking for
If we haven’t already asked you to do this before starting the design process, this is a great time for you to look at examples of what you like. When sending us these examples, be specific about what you like about it. Don’t just say that you like a site or a logo, tell us what you like about it.
Most of all, please don’t be afraid to ask questions. Sometimes we forget that this may be your first time working with us on a process like this because we do it all the time. We promise that we’ll work with you to create exactly what you’re looking for!