Getting design work done for your business or organisation isn’t a complicated process. For the most part, the design process involves your designer working their magic on the brief provided to them, but there are a number of ways you can contribute to this process, the most important of which is active communication. It’s the conversations you have with your designer that lead to the design you want and, more importantly, the design you need. Achieving what you need out of a design is not quite as simple as handing over money to a designer and waiting for them to produce something magic. Your designer may be talented, but they cannot read minds, and regular communication will ensure they can do their job in the most efficient way possible.
Have a goal
Having a goal is crucial in helping your designer drive the project in the direction you want. Whether you want to achieve higher sales or attract more members, you should have a tangible goal in mind before you even begin the creative process. Your designer can build your websites and overhaul your visual identity, but ensure you have a definite, (and easily communicable) goal for your designer to work towards.
Have an idea
Before approaching a designer, you should naturally have an idea on what you want designed. It may be as simple as a logo, or as complex as an entire overhaul of your business identity. Regardless of the scale of the project, there are things you need to clarify to help define it: who is my target audience? What is my budget? What is my timeframe? What is the message of this project and how do I want my target audience to respond to it?
While you should have a fair understanding of these concepts before going to a designer, that isn’t to say that your designer can’t help you refine them; something all designers are familiar with is effective communication of an idea.
Have your content
It goes without saying that you should have the content for your project ready before you go to a designer. If there is copy in what you’re getting designed, be it for a brochure or a website, have that copy solidified. If there are photos you plan on having in the project, have them uploaded and ready to share. Being prepared with small things make getting the job done that much faster, as the designer knows exactly what they’re working with.
Provide frequent feedback
Feedback is critical in your project, for both you and your designer. As mentioned above, communication is key, and regular feedback provides the opportunity to communicate exactly how you’re feeling about the project. When you revisit the questions you had at the start of the project, you can really evaluate if the project is on track.
Don’t be afraid to offer ideas and suggestions, as feedback milestones in a project are your chance to contribute and put your ideas in. Also don’t be afraid to be critical, as it will help your designer understand how you feel about the direction of the project and keep them on the right track. When it comes to the details, check everything and go through the design with a fine-tooth comb. Mistakes can happen, and there is nothing worse than a typo on your home page.
The most important aspect of successful design work is to be involved. It’s never as simple as handing over a brief and going your separate ways until the project is done. Design does not work without regular communication and feedback, and ensuring that you and your designer are on the same page. That doesn’t mean calling your designer every day to discuss the progress, but don’t be afraid to check in with any ideas or suggestions. It’s how the creative process works, and the more contributors and collaborators the better the design outcome.