Whether you are a freelance designer or working for a company, it can be difficult to understand exactly what your client is looking for. After all, you’re not a mind-reader! But you can understand your client’s vision better by keeping the following tips in mind. And you won’t need any psychic powers!
Before you do anything, talk to your client about the processes you go through to create your designs. Whether it’s logos, print or website design, give your client a good understanding of what you do so that you aren’t stuck with unreasonable deadlines or misunderstandings. Once you both established an idea of what the client wants, tell them how you are going to achieve it. Explaining yourself will start you off on the same page.
Listening is the most important way to know your client and what they expect from you. If they have a specific idea in mind, take careful and detailed notes. This helps you further assess your client’s needs so that you can better plan the design. Be careful not to interrupt their thoughts. Be an active listener.
Asking questions can alleviate confusion. Think about obstacles you’ve faced in the past. Did you encounter problems that could have been avoided? Did you receive a design brief and jump right in without proper clarification? Make sure the design idea is clear, and be prepared to answer any questions yourself.
Keep them in the loop.
Don’t bombard them with updates, but let them know any time you make significant progress. This way, things that need to be changed can be addressed early on. This builds trust between you and the client and also keeps them involved in the process so that their goals can be achieved.
Prepare for change.
Prevent misunderstandings by thinking in your client’s shoes. Remember that they came to you to make their vision a reality. You may think that your ideas work better than your client’s ideas because you are a trained designer. Learn to respect your client’s ideas without overriding them with yours. Make room for change in the way you design. You’re welcome to show them your ideas through mock-ups but don’t lose sight of the goal; you’re designing for them, not you. And even if your client wants you to tweak your work in the end, don’t be too rigid about revision.