Whenever we are asked what is the key to a successful design project many people are surprised by our answer – communication. A free flowing exchange between a client and their designer will insure that the client’s needs are taken into account, their style is expressed and the budget is adhered to.
Many clients come into a project with some great ideas and it is the designer’s job to apply their own expertise and experience to further cultivate these ideas. For freelance business project management is an essential part. Here you can easily learn how to design a good project for freelancing.
A Realistic Timeline
Designing and developing an effective website takes time. Most designers understand this, but some clients assume that the process can easily be done faster without considering the impact.
It’s not uncommon for a designer to be contacted by a potential client who has an unrealistic deadline. At this time the designer can either make promises that they may not be able to live up to in order to land the job, or the designer can explain to the client why the deadline is unrealistic, what steps will be rushed with this deadline, and what the consequences may be. In many cases the client will be more flexible with their projected time frame if they understand the long-term ramifications of rushing through the project.
Some (but not all) clients will want to tell the designer the basics of what they want and then step away from the process. A successful project will include involvement from the client at the early stages of the project, as well as throughout the project for feedback. From my experience hands-on clients are actually easier to work with because you know what they want and what they are thinking throughout the process. It’s difficult to create a website that truly represents the clients and serves their business well without much involvement from them.
If you’re in communication with a potential client and they seem like they seem like they don’t have much interest in being involved in the process, take the time to explain to them why you will need their input and how it can affect the end result.
In addition to being organized, a successful graphic design agency must be able to self-start and manage all aspects of a client project. Project management begins the moment a client calls asking for an estimate, and it is an ongoing process until your agency successfully delivers a satisfactory final product. A successful graphic design agency generally works on more than one project at a time, so flexibility and strategic planning are necessary for fulling deadlines and maintaining a sense order.
An effective website focuses on meeting the needs of users. The designer can create something that’s visual appealing and something that the client likes, but if it doesn’t focus on the users and meeting their needs it will ultimately not be successful.
During the intake process the designer needs to make an effort to get a good understanding of the users of the website and the target market of the client. Without knowing who you are building the site for, what they want and how the behave, it’s impossible to create a user-focused website.