I said centered, not centered: 5 steps to successfully designing for clients

By: Jake

We’ve all been there – either over anxious and began designing before we knew what the client wanted or really wish we covered a detail more specifically in our service agreement. Here are 5 steps to ensuring success to a hiccup free process when desiging for clients.

1) Set Proper Expectations Upfront – This not only important for the client but also important for you and your design team. Your expectations should cover everything from the process of consultation to design to delivery, the client and designer’s roles in the process, a timeline of deliverables, what happens if a milestone is missed, and your payment schedule.

2) Research before design (…or measure twice, cut once) – Get to know what your client likes and dislikes. Get actual examples and feedback. Understand what aspects in detail the client likes and dislikes. Find out who the client’s competitors are what they are doing that is working and what they are doing that is not working.

3) The client’s opinion ultimately is the most important – No matter how much of an expert you may or may not be, if the client does not like an aspect of your design find out and understand the what, why and how to deliver something the client will like.

4) Some jobs aren’t worth it – At the end of the day there are some projects and clients that just aren’t worth getting involved with or proceeding further. Set your needs and boundaries as a service provider and know which needs and boundaries are strict and which you are willing to be flexible with when dealing with clients.

5) Happy clients lead to referrals – If you follow steps 1 through 4 ensuring your client is happy comes down to your character. Be genuine, be friendly and keep in touch.