Effective communication is key to the success of your projects. Poor communication is a surefire way to damage any business.
For me as for a designer the process of communication begins before clients even agree to hire me to work on their project. Time is money, I know how to minimize conversation throughout the entire design process and at the same way keep it effective and results-driven.
There are a few my tips for better communication:
1. Ask the right questions.
Good designer understands that she/ he has a set of tools and experiences on hand to fulfil the client’s specific needs.
Tell your client that in order to understand what is needed to get the project done, you are going to ask some questions. Typically they are:
– Final vision, or what would be the result of the project?
– Strong and weak sides of past client’s projects and campaigns.
– Goals of the current project.
– Working process itself, or how it normally runs through the department.
– Company branding and style guides.
2. Talk in your client language.
The technical explanations that you normally give.. could be complicated for your client. You should define what is important and speak to those topics. Correlating technical information to business goals of the project is better received than just specific terms themselves.
3. Define who is your point of contact.
You are interested to determine who you are speaking with and what their role in the project is. If you are dealing with someone who is essentially a go-between, then you are under the risk that your work (after you get it done) will be submitted to the actual decision makers.
– Make sure that the decision-makers are involved in key decisions.
– Have a limited revisions clause in your contract.
4. Do not over-rely on email.
Relying on email communication only is big issue. Misunderstandings are always easier to resolve via phone. Also voice communication and meeting creates a much more ‘human relationship’ than email does.
Time is expensive. Communication is necessary. Effective communication is paramount. No matter what business you are in – web-related or not, healthy communication skills will help you do it better.