When you hire anyone to do a project for you, getting the details right is important. And that’s especially true when you have a creative idea that you want someone to make a reality. You need to be able to communicate those ideas in a way that a contractor can understand because when you get the details right from the start, you save time and money in the long run.
While there’s never any guarantee that you’ll get exactly what you want and expect, here are some tips to help get you closer:
Write Everything Down
No matter the size of the project, having a written brief that clearly outlines what you’re looking for helps to make sure there’s no confusion. Include as much information as possible—from the dimensions to the text to the use of the final design.
It also helps to include information about the target audience for the design. You probably know your customers like the back of your hand—but your designer doesn’t. Tell her what they’re like, and she’ll be able to lend her experience communicating ideas to a specific audience to the design.
Verbal and Visual is Better
Everyone has a different communication style—some people are better with bullet points, others with loose sketches. Creatives tend to be visual and verbal learners. If possible, meet with the designer on the phone, via Skype or in person to talk through the written instructions you’ve provided. You could even record a video of yourself or your screen to walk through your feedback. Armed with clear instructions, the designer will have a clear path to move forward.
Think From Another Perspective
Your designer has different experiences and a different thought process than you. Plus, she’s not as married to your project as you are—lacking some background information and history. Think about that as you’re creating the brief for the project. You might need to include some back-story and additional details, or explain vocabulary that your designer may not be familiar with.
Double and Triple Check
There’s nothing worse than a botched headline—the wrong date or location, the wrong price— because the brief was wrong. The designer’s job is just that: to design.
It’s your job to make sure the details are right. Double check the instructions, and your feedback. Have someone else look at them. Then check them again. You’ll save time and money in the design process if the designer has the right information from the start.
Ask for Questions
While it’s tempting to pass along instructions and walk away, you’re much more likely to see the results you want if you keep your door open for questions throughout the process. Keep in mind that you know exactly what you’re talking about. But if you’ve unintentionally left off a key piece of information, your designer may need to follow up with you. Leave space for that to happen. You’ll be happier with the result.
So before you pass along the next great design project, take a quick review of your brief and make sure you’ve hit all the details on the head.