Tips To Work Effectively With Your Client
As a web designer, working as a team is a task that you will have to do in your career sooner or later, even if you work as a freelance. At some point, you may have to work with web and app developers, SEO specialists, user experience designers, etc. Working with all these people is a new experience that will help you grow as a professional.
Even as a freelance, in each project you accept, you work as a team with your client. Although the relationship that is formed between you and your client is different than the relationship with any other professionals. For this reason, we offer you some tips to work effectively with your clients on each new web design project you accept.
Understand the needs and objectives of the client
One of the most common misunderstandings usually occurs regarding the objectives of a certain project. This situation can lead to the client having very different expectations of the first sketches that you present and in the end, it can cause the project to take longer than necessary.
To avoid situations like this, make sure you understand the objectives of the project based on interviews with the client. It never hurts to ask the client for confirmation if the objectives that you have been able to recognize as discussed in the meetings correspond with the objectives of his business or the specific project. In some cases, the client is very clear about the objectives of the project, while in other cases, you should make sure to ask the right questions to find out the reasons why the client has decided to carry out the project.
Hold firm when necessary
While it is important to listen to the client to be aware of the objectives of the project, as well as to consider the suggestions so that the client is satisfied with the final result, sometimes the client’s suggestions are simply not right. Sometimes, the client may insist too much on an idea or suggestion. Since you are an expert, you must explain to the client why this idea is not the most ideal for the project. Finally, you are not designing for your client but the end-users.
You must guide your clients when their suggestions are simply not valid since they can be personal preferences. If you put into perspective what you are designing for the target audience and why the design must be for them, then the client is likely to give in. However, you must find a way not to intimidate your client and not make him feel that his comments have no purpose.
Sell ‚Äã‚Äãyour ideas
Just as it is important to recognize and explain why certain suggestions from your client may not be effective or beneficial to the project, you must learn to sell your ideas. Perhaps, in the beginning, the client does not realize the importance of a certain design decision. Normally, you do not do it, that is your area of ‚Äã‚Äãexpertise and therefore you have been hired by the client.
In these cases, it is important to explain the benefits of this decision to the client and how you have arrived at that solution for the design. If you explain that there is a specific reason behind each design element, then the client will understand that the decisions you have made are not random and that everything has a purpose.
Learn to deal with criticism
As a designer, you should get used to receiving criticism and that certain ideas are discarded by the client. It can be difficult not to take these criticisms as personal, but remember that only a particular idea is not liked by your client and is not doubting your skills as a designer.
Criticism and rejection of your ideas are an essential part of working on projects with clients, many times the client has their ideas and the sketches you present simply do not correspond. Keep working on new ideas and sketches, also ask the client why a particular idea does not please him. This could take you closer to discovering exactly what the image or idea of ‚Äã‚Äãthe client is.
Do not limit revisions
As a designer, you should know how much a design can change from the initial sketch to its final version. The reality is that, even when a sketch is approved, it is common for changes to be made at each stage, often requested by the customer.
To maintain a certain order and work more efficiently, many designers involve the client from the initial stages not only in establishing communication channels and resolving their doubts but also in delivering advances and receiving comments from the client.
Usually, this process is often referred to as revisions and to prevent the client from requesting many corrections, it is usually given time to analyze the progress and then send all the corrections that must be made in a list as a response.
While it is positive to explain this process to the client and establish at what stage exactly the reviews work, you should not limit them. That is, it is okay to indicate to your client that only two or three revisions are accepted in the entire process, but you should not limit the changes that must be made.
Collaborating with other professionals such as web and app developers is an excellent experience that helps you grow as a designer. You may think that working as a team with your client is not possible or offers you no benefit, but that is not the case. Involving your client in the design process has several benefits, one of the most important is that misunderstandings can be avoided.
In this way, you keep up to date with the deliveries and finish the project when it must be completed. Also, with each client you work with, you learn to deal with certain situations. So when they are repeated in some other projects and with another client, you already have a strategy to solve it.
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