As a designer, you're probably familiar with this situation: After a lot of effort and research, you're finally satisfied with your design drafts. But the joy is short-lived - in the feedback session, the design is not well received and you have to start all over again, so to speak. To avoid this, I've developed some strategies that drastically reduce the likelihood of negative feedback while producing better results. After nearly 100 completed client projects, I share my key learnings with you here:
Working with reference pages:
Over time, I have created a long list of reference sites sorted by industry, type and highlights. Before I start the actual design process, I present a wide selection to the client. The client also presents me with his favorite sites. This creates a good feeling for the dos and don'ts of the new site. The client feels understood and at the same time I have a framework within which I can use my design freedom and expert knowledge. It is also a good way to give the client an overview of modern web design and possibly overcome old ideas.
Working with text stylescapes:
Before I start with the actual design, I present the visual design of the text hierarchy levels (h1-h4 + body text and buttons). Typography plays such an important role in web design that I focus on it from the beginning. Once we speak the same language on typography, we do the same on the rest of the design elements.
Presentations to decision-makers:
Early in my design career, I used to export finished designs as PDFs and send them via email. In doing so, the thoughts behind the design were often misunderstood and the feedback was irritating and hard to follow. That's why I decided to stop sending designs via email. Instead, I present all designs and receive feedback directly in the call. This makes the thinking behind the design and the client's thoughts understandable. Feedback is given in context and misunderstandings can be cleared up directly in the meeting.