One of the worst things that can happen while working on a design project for a client is the never-ending process of changes and revisions.
You can ask your client hundreds of questions, spend hours on your research, present it beautifully, but your client can still tell you that it’s not what they were looking for.
I started considering presenting my design concepts to clients as it is a part of the sales process. Even though the sale has been made with a signed contract, you, as the designer, need to keep selling every idea and iteration of your work.
Just like shopping for tangible products, clients like to have choices. Instead of guessing and investing your time in just one design concept and creating complete mockups, you can create quick prototypes and show them to your client first.
It’s a win-win situation. Your client has more options and can give you early feedback on your art direction and you’ll have fewer revisions and changes later down the road.
What does it look like in practice?
I usually create 3 different design ideas for every new project. This includes colors, typography, and a sample usage (and sometimes logo design too) to demonstrate how it all feels together.
All three concepts are very similar in this case because we had a very specific scope and requirements. This client knew exactly what he needed, but giving a preview lowers the risk of going in the wrong direction.
Taking your project in small steps, discussing it with your client, and getting frequent approvals is the way to move a project faster. Working for days or weeks and then presenting your final “work” to the client is a recipe for disaster.
When creating my design concepts, two of them are the closest to what the client wanted and then I deliberately make one that is very different (if the client is open for experimentation…). It’s like selling different product variations; there is always one that is the most popular option that’s just right.
Once the client chooses the concept, we can make changes and tweaks to make it perfect.
This process really helped me to get more approvals and close projects faster. Let me know if you have had different experiences and ideas.