Unresponsive Design

dead pixelI am a designer with more than five years of experience both as an office worker and as a freelance freelancer. I will be glad to share some of my experience and approach to working with managers or clients. The fact is that design is always subjective. The same design can cause admiration and rejection. Often this creates a lot of difficulties for the designer working on a project in which the number of people whose opinion needs to be taken into account exceeds one person. I’ll try to explain why, as well as talk about some techniques and techniques that can make the designer’s work less stressful and more positive.

Each person has his own beliefs, preferences (prejudices) and EGO. The stronger and more developed a person's EGO is, the more difficult it is to convince this person of something, even if he is fundamentally wrong. The most difficult thing is to work with people who either tried to do something in Photoshop themselves or, even worse, took some kind of computer graphics course, but for some reason could not find a job in the field of design, but became managers and now all the designs pass through them and they can make any corrections. They always have some special idea of ​​what the design should be and they are 100% sure that it should be so, although in 7 out of 10 cases, the changes made worsen the design and the final result takes 10 times more time , and you can’t say that it is better (and sometimes vice versa) than the first, created in a relatively short time. Of course there are exceptions, but they are extremely rare.

The thing is that evaluates you as an employee, it is that manager / client, and not someone else. You can send a client and lose money, and the manager can be said that he is an idiot and doesn’t shit at all, but it will offend him and he will give a bad assessment to you and your work, and this in turn will affect your salary and career advancement. A successful designer should be able to please any client / manager, even the most stupid and uneducated with all possible gates. And ideally, teach him the basic principles and make sure that he can rely on you. It takes a while, but it's worth it.

Therefore, the designer should be as tolerant and a little cunning, it is important to learn how to manipulate people's opinions, using small tricks, tricks and tips that will be discussed:

Of course, not all managers / clients once dreamed of becoming designers, it is easier, faster and more efficient to work with those who think in the following way. “I don’t understand anything in design, this is not my job. Just muddle something awesome. ” Here! This is the most effective formula (if you are a good experienced designer who knows his job well). Below we will mostly discuss working with problem managers / clients who consider themselves designers, but who are not.

1. Sketches

All sent designs are better called sketches, sketches. It’s not necessary to say that this is the final option, it will protect you from unpleasant situations, if suddenly someone just doesn’t like the design (due to merit or bad mood) and it will be criticized to the nines, you can always say that this is all just sketch and save face. At the same time, it is better not to send too crude sketches, the sketch should have a completely finished look. Unfortunately, for most non-designers (or people who think of themselves as great designers), it’s hard to imagine how it will look in the end and they will say that everything is wrong, and you need to do something completely different and have to redo it. In fact, usually I send a 95% finished design and say that this is a sketch, it is often accepted as is without a lot of corrections.

2. Do not do fast

Everyone knows that good quality things are not done quickly. And if after 2-3 hours after receiving the task, send the finished sketch for consideration, then most likely they will require a fucking cloud of amendments and a request for a large number of additional options, even if the proposed design was as good as it is. Therefore, do not rush. Relax. Carefully work through every detail, make several options for yourself, meticulously inspect the design, show it to someone, think over all the details and only then go for consideration.

3. Submit design for approval after lunch

Before lunch, waiting for a meal, many people become somewhat nervous and irritable, and after lunch and a cup of coffee a person is much more satisfied and it is much easier to negotiate with him.

4. Nothing is impossible

Never say you cannot do this, even if you are asked to draw Mona Lisa in a pint. Say better that it can take a very large amount of time and will be very expensive, suggest another more appropriate option.

5. Be open to ideas and try to avoid controversy.

Be open to any, even the most absurd at first glance, ideas. Do not forget for a second that the design is subjective, and that you are also a person, and you have your own EGO and a certain number of beliefs that sometimes interfere with objective evaluation. Instead, immediately reject the proposed amendment and say that it will look ugly for one reason or another, do not be too lazy to create a quick sketch, show it to the manager / client and give your reasons. In some cases, it may turn out that the idea that you initially accepted with hostility will not be so bad. Of course, in most cases, the manager will have to agree with your point of view, and this will only strengthen your reputation as a designer.

It also happens that at the request of the manager the design was disfigured and approved by him, but some third person, maybe the head of that manager will ask you what kind of crap. In this case, you can safely “turn in” your manager, who neglected your recommendations and show the initial designs. Also do not forget to express your opinion. The phrase in the spirit of "I, as a designer, do not like what happened for such reasons, but if you think that it is beautiful and will work, then so be it :)"

6. Show the character

Theoretically, such a situation is possible that a manager may demand to make some changes that disfigure design, create a shit design with the hands of a designer and say that you are a shit designer. I have not encountered this, but I think it is possible. It happens that a manager likes govnodizayn, but you do not. In such cases, it is better to try to be objective, ask the opinions of third parties, and when you are 100% sure that the design is shit, then openly declare it. Emphasizing the fact that you are just a performer and consider this design unsuccessful, in some cases you can show your character and go a little beyond formal politeness.

7. Feel free to admit that you rolled up the design and show where

Often, customers do not follow trends, they are scared by flat buttons, long shadows, side menus, or whatever it is, just show them the new iOS, android kitkat, apple website, microsoft or something solid and cool, which uses a similar technique or interface solution.

8. Thoughts are wide

Do not do the work clearly on the brief, the wireframe, always try to understand what exactly you are doing, what is the ultimate goal of the product, ask a lot of questions. It may be a little annoying at first, but in the end it will save a lot of time and effort for you and your customer. Naturally, everything is within reasonable limits.

9. Do not be self-confident

Never get up in a pose - I’m a super cool designer with great experience, I spent a hell of a lot of money and 5 years on education and now I know everything, and you pathetic mortals don’t think anything, how dare you tell me what color and size the buttons on page ... well, etc. Be open, do not be afraid to admit mistakes, thoughts with the customer, clearly explain each element of your design, how and why it was done just like that and not in another way.

10. Discuss in advance the number of sketches, corrections and corrections

Situations are possible when a client will suck your soul out of you, demanding more sketches, endless contradictory corrections, and at the last moment will say that this is not at all right and you need to start all over again.

Avoiding such a situation is not so difficult, it is enough to discuss in advance, and it is better to prescribe in the contract the number of provided sketches and corrections, directly dependent on the project budget. If the number of edits or sketches will exceed the previously agreed amount, then the customer will have to pay more. This will significantly reduce the level of perfectionism in the blood of customers who do not appreciate the work of a designer.

Unfortunately, this will not work with managers; for them, slightly different tricks described above are good. If this still happens to you, just remember that design is a process and not always this process runs smoothly.

11. There are no unimportant and boring projects that can be done with the sleeves down

Try to ensure that every element that comes out of your hands is 100% worked out, done as well as possible, you can add a twist to even the most boring task. Do not junk, give your best, and try to do better and better then you will certainly be noticed and a dozen boring gray projects will be interesting, and after a few well-made interesting projects - they will turn to other people with boring low-budget projects.

That's just about it, I wish you adequate customers and interesting well-paid projects! If you have any other tips or techniques, then I would be very interested to read.

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