I love working with clients and helping them come up with creative solutions to the problems they face. But sometimes, especially with new clients, it takes a little bit for us to speak each other’s language. To help with that hurdle, take a look at this great article from PR Newswire that explains the disconnect — but more importantly, be sure to check out the helpful tips towards the end.

In my previous life as an account manager, I would work with clients to really dial in on what was working in a particular design — and what wasn’t — to get my designers actionable feedback. Nowadays, I walk my clients through those same steps, with the added benefit of being able to speak about the actual creation of the design…

  • First, simply review the options without attempting to evaluate or pass judgement. This gives you time to take in the elements of each design individually.
  • Next, spend time on each design, reviewing what areas you’re drawn to, that you like, and feel are working. Also note what “doesn’t feel right” or needs further explanation. Think about why you like or dislike something. It’s often helpful to markup the PDFs directly, or print the designs and write out feedback on specific areas.
  • As you begin to zero in on your design preference, think about how users might interact with it. Does it achieve your goals? What areas might be missing or need to be elaborated upon? Also, evaluate content and see where you may need to fill in gaps, remove or expand areas. How might your design choice be adjusted to meet your goals?

Evaluating the ‘why’ at each step and analyzing the design piece-by-piece can help us get to a finished product that the client will love (no, that does not mean Frankensteining three designs into one).