5 Ways to Have a Great Relationship with Your Designer

Do you ever wonder how you can have a better relationship with your designer?

All too often after an assignment is handed off to your designer, details get lost, questions aren’t asked or answered and collaboration is all but forgotten. This can result in delays, errors, frustration and a lot of unnecessary extra costs.

Here are a few helpful tips to help keep your project flowing smoothly & maintain a great relationship with your designer.

  1. Be prepared & save time

    It’s very easy to want to pick up the phone and request the proverbial “quick change” on the fly, but that can lead to mistakes. You might forget something if you’re verbally making the request or the designer might misunderstand what you asked for, and do the wrong thing. It might take a few extra minutes, but it will save a lot of headaches and time later if you prepare your notes, feedback, edits and other thoughts together in one list (in writing) and send to your designer before you talk so he/she has an opportunity to review them in advance. Take your time to write out your edits so they are thorough, will also give you a documented record of what you want done. Also, your designer will receive your notes in advance and be better prepared with solutions or explanations when you do speak. The conversation will be more efficient and you can get through each point more quickly.

  2. Include your designer before, not after

    When planning changes, add-ons to your website, or even a rebrand, bringing your designer in before you start the process to give them a heads-up that it’s happening allows the designer you hired an opportunity to offer expertise and insight to your planning. Collaborating with your designer before hand will no doubt save you a lot of time, money and headaches later. After all, that’s why you hired your designer. They want to help you any way they can to make your brand look it’s best.

  3. Keep your secure passwords in a safe place

    When your designer or website developer sends you newly created account credentials, for email accounts, website logins, and other types of accounts, it’s a great idea to store these credentials in a safe place right away. There are so many passwords for so many websites, it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to creating passwords or how to keep track of them. Between our personal accounts and business, an individual could have anywhere from 50-100 individual online accounts, all with logins requiring usernames and passwords. This applies to your designer or developer as well.

    If you change your password (which is always a good idea, for security reasons), always be sure to let your designer know. It will help speed up the process so your designer can take care of your request as quickly as possible.

  4. Respond to your designer/developer’s questions thoroughly

    In the age of busy-busy go-go-go, it seems none of us ever have time to really stop and spend time on things we have delegated to other people. It may even feel frustrating to have to go back and review or answer questions we thought we already covered.

    There will always be the few details we thought we communicated, or even questions we are certain we answered. But sure enough things either get lost in translation because of the wonderful digital age. We write things out but don’t realize they make sense only to ourselves. It happens to the best of us. It’s okay.

    So if your designer has a question to verify some details about your project, be sure to answer the questions thoroughly so everything is clear. Your designer wants to make you happy and work as efficiently as possible so the product that’s delivered is the best representation of your business. The more information she has, the better.

  5. Send approvals in the form of actual approvals

    Whenever you’re finalizing and wrapping up a design project, you will likely be asked for an approval. This is important: Be sure to use the word “approved”, click “approved” or approval buttons, or follow the approval instructions provided to you by the designer to ensure that that you’re on the same page and everything is properly documented. Saying “looks good” or “okay” might sound okay and make sense to you, but it ultimately does not communicate the approval effectively, and it is technically not official. “Looks good” doesn’t really hold up if (or when) there are errors found later on.

    The approval process is in place not only for your designer’s records, but for your benefit, as well. Using very specific words like approved, final approval, okay to print, or whatever is required of you to move forward to the next phase of your project holds everyone accountable. This creates a trackable time-stamped record. If anyone involved needs to track the progress of a project, there won’t be any doubt over when the approval(s) took place, who provided the approval, and ultimately will ensure that everyone involved takes a few extra minutes to pay closer attention to the details. Everyone wins.

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