We’ve been designing websites for over 7 years and since then we’ve had the luck to work with some incredible clients. For some of them, it was their first time working with a designer, and that meant the process wasn’t always smooth sailing.
The problem is that with most new experiences, you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s easy for misunderstandings and other awkward situations to come up, and before you know it you’re ready to scrap the whole thing. If you want to create a more effective working relationship with your designer (or really any service professional) these tips are a great place to start!
So how can you become your designer’s favorite client?
1. Be open to constructive feedback.
If you’re anything like us, you have trouble delegating. Your business is your baby and you know what’s best. Generally that’s probably true. However, if you’ve taken the time to hire an expert it’s because you know that there’s someone who is a better fit for the job. To make the working relationship as productive as possible, be open to your designer’s feedback.
While it’s your vision that they’ve been hired to bring to life, they are also bringing their expertise to the table. So when they tell you that using 10 different colors on your website is a bad idea, be open to the possibility that they’re right.
2. Stay in touch.
Life happens, we get it. Sometimes things just come up and things fall to the wayside. The important thing is to stay in touch with your designer so they know what’s going on. Most design projects have multiple phases so it’s important to provide timely feedback. If the original project timeline is 4 weeks and something comes up in week 2, let them know. Maybe you can agree to put your project on hold until things calm down, or even slightly adjust the timeline.
3. Give them what they need to do their work.
Another way to keep projects running smoothly is to provide your designer with what they need at the start of the project (copy in it’s final form, images, any passwords they will need). Having this information at the start of the project, all in one place (like Dropbox) makes the job so much easier. It eliminates a lot of back and forth through e-mail to get the information, and saves countless hours trying to find the one e-mail that contains the password to your hosting account.
As an extreme example, our custom websites generally take 3 to 4 weeks but we were able to turn one around in 24 hours because the client was able to provide everything we needed and stayed available in case anything came up. Of course we don’t want to promise all our clients that kind of timeline, but it goes to show that the process can go a lot quicker and more smoothly when you have what you need to get it done.
Being able to finally outsource something in your business can feel like a massive upgrade but when the project isn’t going according to plan, it’s easy to lose enthusiasm for the whole process. Keeping these things in mind will keep the project on track, and creates the results everyone’s looking for. Awesome new website for you? Win. A happy client ready to make referrals? Win for your designer.