Tuesday, November 18

Attention Designers

I am inviting designers and other creatives to share your most effective ways of presenting designs to clients.

Some things to consider sharing:
- How do you present proofs? On boards or electronically via PDF or JPG?
- Do you meet with the client in person, via email or teleconference to discuss designs?
- How do you retrieve feedback from the client? (through discussion, questionnaire, rating system, etc.)
- How you respond when the client does not favor any of the designs presented?
- What is the next step after you have completed a first draft review with your client?
- Any other relevant information...Etc, Etc, Etc...

Submit your feedback by November 30th and I will post your replies on December 1st. Be sure to include your name, company, web site url, and your email address.

9 comments:

Meroko said...

Hello!

I usually present proofs electronically via PDF, but I will discuss the proofs via e-mail, in-person or phone call (whatever the client prefers).

If a client doesn't favor any of the designs presented, I will discuss with the client what he/she is looking for, if there is anything on the provided comps that DOES work, etc. to try to determine next steps moving forward.

I will then do some new PDFs and repeat as necessary. If I'm doing my job right, one more round should get us headed in the right direction.

Hope this helps!

josemota said...

I am José Mota, a state-of-the-art freelance web designer.
Email: josemota at josemota dot net
URL: www.josemota.net

I use Skitch (wonderful :D). It's electronic, yea, because my clients are far away.

Feedback is given either through email, IM or Skype discussion. You're guessing correctly when you say I talk to clients online. Even so, I kindly insist in a first personal meeting to approach a solution.

I believe it's most important to let the client know of our potencial as designers and suggest good tips on usability and accessibility like certain elements' positioning, etc.

If a client asks something too generic that allows our creativity to play full out and after that he just says "Meh...no.", I always say to myself they oughtta know better :P That's totally different than correcting certain aspects of a design.

One last thing: designers are selfish and egocentric by nature. They are good attributes, use 'em in your favor. However, the very last word is the client's.

Cheers, Kathryn! Have a brilliant day!

Tony said...

For OnWired, we typically submit our comps via Basecamp, so electronically is the correct answer for us. As all clients are unique, the follow up revisions may be hammered out in person, over the phone, or via Basecamp.

JPG's usually suffice for web design comps. Sometimes a GIF, PNG, or PDF for print materials.

Once the initial design is approved, we move forward with any secondary pages and so forth. By that time, most of the critical design elements are accounted for and the road becomes a bit smoother.

Tony - OnWired

Katie Austin said...

Hi everyone, thanks for your comments so far. I am getting some great replies :) Keep them coming!

Bruce said...

My print design work is (surprisingly?) a very electronic process. Of course, some clinets like face time more than others, but via email or through my print brokers Basecamp account, most every proof is sent as a pdf. It's actually been quite a while since I showed a dummied comp in person.

Even if a printed piece will have certain folds, I'll often make an illustration of sorts by working the pdf in Photoshop. If specific spot colors or finishes are involved, then presenting samples in person is required.

I am of two minds regarding feedback. Face to face is great, and vital for my initial meetings, but when a client responds, I *love* the "paper trail." Especially when client proxies are involved, or when additional charges or last minute problems are involved!

:: bruce colthart ::

bobbo0521 said...

I have a templates directory setup on my server. I usually like to hash out a few different layouts in HTML and CSS (I know, it's probably more work than it's worth).

I like doing things this way because it lets the client actually use the layout, not just look at it.

Brian Yerkes said...

How do you present proofs? On boards or electronically via PDF or JPG?

We upload jpgs and upload them to a client folder we create on our server and send the link to the client asking them to review.

- Do you meet with the client in person, via email or teleconference to discuss designs?

Depending on the client, we either speak with them on the phone or we discuss it over email. I am becoming extremely green minded these days, and if we don't have to meet in person (using gas, car emissions etc), then we try not to unless the client really feels they need to. While it is important to get to know a client, and allow them to get to know you and your company through face-to-face meetings..but after one meeting during the sales process, I think it is enough for most clients.

- How do you retrieve feedback from the client? (through discussion, questionnaire, rating system, etc.)

Phone call or emails

- How do you respond when the client does not favor any of the designs presented?

I try to figure out what aspects they don't like, what they do like etc. It can be really difficult to get this out of some clients and that is why designers sometimes struggle to hit the nail on the head for the client...the one's that are unable to communicate their thoughts clearly are often the ones that also have a specific design in mind...but don't know how to describe it until you actually get it and they see it!

- What is the next step after you have completed a first draft review with your client?

If they have changes, we send an email back to them outlining all of the changes we understand they are requesting. This confirms with them that we are on the same page. Then we work on the changes, and submit to them again for review.

Once the design is done, if it is a website project, we begin the html/css, or if it is a logo design or print design project, we invoice final payment and get working on the preparing the final production files that the client will receive once final payment is received.

Hope that info helps somehow! Regarding the topic of presenting design visuals for websites, I recently discussed a new way I am doing this (with some clients) and it is working out to be a huge time saver.


http://www.brianyerkes.com/the-day-of-static-design-visuals-is-dead/

Thanks Katie!
(p.s. where did the "oddy" go from your twitter name?? katie oddy sounds way too cool to change it!)"

Zack said...

For Web design:

Leo Laporte was talking about this program last week. It's a really cool mockup tool for websites.

http://balsamiq.com/products/mockups

Alvin Lai said...

I use Freshlog, a screen capture tool like Skitch, with the ability to create Basecamp Messages and Todo list items WITH screenshots and a list of other supported issue trackers, check out the screencast:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ciw_2L6lq7s