Creating a brand, logo, and/or website may feel a bit daunting. There are many things to consider and decisions to make, but you aren’t doing it alone. A good designer is there to make your vision into something unique and special for you. So, whether you’re starting from scratch or your brand, logo, or website needs an update, there are a few simple things you can do to help your designer and the design process to go smoothly.
1. Know What You Want (or at least the ballpark)
Imagine sitting in front of a blank canvas, paintbrush in hand. Where do you start? So many possibilities of color, style, content. So many directions you could go. The creative options are endless. It can feel both exciting and a bit overwhelming.
Imagine your designer sitting at the blank canvas of your brand, logo, or website design. You hold the key, the inspiration for your design. It’s not enough to say, “go to the ballpark.” You have to know enough of what you want to be able to communicate “which ballpark” you’re in. You don’t have to work out every nook and cranny of the design yet, but with an array of creative directions you can go in, it helps if you’re as clear as possible so the designer has a basic sense of where to begin.
Knowing what you want is work you can do before the design process even starts. Don’t expect your designer to walk you through every creative possibility. There really isn’t time for that. Besides, you know your product or service better than anyone else and you know your target audience and what appeals to the customer/visitor you’re trying to engage.
2. You Can Never Be Too Specific
Once you have a sense of what you want, it’s your job to get the designer there, too. With so many design possibilities, you’ll need to narrow down what you like and what you don’t like. You can never be too specific about your vision or design ideas.
Create a shareable board on Pinterest where you can curate the color schemes, font styles, and examples of the look and feel you are drawn to. This board is something you can share with your designer to clarify your vision. Once you’re “in the right ballpark”, you’ll need to narrow your likes down – 2 or 3 colors, 2 or 3 favorite fonts, style preferences, etc.
You can also look critically at other websites and make a list of what you like and don’t like about how they are designed. Look at both aesthetics (colors/styles), as well as, layout (how it’s arranged). Pay special attention to the home page. Is it easy to navigate? Do you know what the website is offering and how to get it/use it? Is it nice to look at, inviting, current? Are there details that turn you off (be specific)?
3. Stay Open and Trust Your Designer
Design is a creative process. Once you’ve done your part in communicating what you like and don’t like it’s the designer’s turn to produce options that reflect what you’ve shared. This can be the fun part! Know what you like, communicate your vision, but stay open to the creative options your designer comes up with incorporating your ideas.
Your designer isn’t as close to your work as you are. They may see things that you can’t see or offer something a little more out of the box then you were expecting. Trust that your designer wants you to love the design and is working to give you exactly what you want. It is a process, which means it may take a revision or two to get there.
4. Good Feedback Is Critical
There’s nothing better than good feedback. When it’s time, your designer will share some design options with you. You may be tempted to react to the designs immediately, but sit with them a bit and revisit them a couple of times. Which one are you drawn to and why? Do you like the style of the design, but not the layout? Again, the more specific you can be with your feedback the better.
Here’s a free Website Design Feedback Worksheet to help you discern and give clear feedback.
The design process can be fun and exciting, but it’s also super important! It dictates the overall look, style, content, and layout of your design and it visually says something about you and your product/service. You want it to be amazing and so does your designer.
Don’t be afraid to take an active role in the design process. Know what you want and communicate it clearly and specifically and you’ll be amazed how quickly your designer will deliver a design you’ll love.