Receiving a Request
To begin the process, potential clients must complete a questionnaire based on the type of service they are seeking. This questionnaire allows me to gain an understanding of the project and begins the process of establishing goals.
I take each questionnaire into careful consideration. How passionate is the potential client about the project? Do they have an understanding of their goals? Do they show an interest in working with me specifically?
This review is important because it sets the tone for the professional relationship moving forward and gives me a good understanding of my ability to receive clear goals from the client.
At this point I have taken in the goals expressed and have a clear understanding of the potential client’s needs. My response addresses the topics covered in the questionnaire and leads us into the consultation process.
Consultation and Agreement
Establishing Trust and Roles
It’s very important that the client and I have a mutual trust and clearly defined roles. The client should feel confident in my ability to execute a design that fulfills their requirements and likewise I should feel confident that the client will provide those requirements.
The client has a clear understanding of their marketplace and target audience. Therefore the client should be willing and able to provide goals and content for the project.
As the designer it is my responsibility to take the goals we have established and deliver a solution that matches those goals.
Establishing goals is crucial to delivering a solid final product. This discussion is very thorough and covers all of the information necessary to complete the project.
The goal of each project is to provide value to the client. Because of this we will need to have honest and upfront conversations about the project. Hesitation to request clarification or ask questions could result in misunderstood and/or undefined goals.
Money is not a primary focus throughout the consultation. I can’t answer ‘how much will this cost’ when we haven’t discussed your needs first. It is my responsibility to understand what the project will require and what value it will add before discussing a price. Generally an initial price quote can be determined from the questionnaire but further consultation may be required.
I usually do not charge hourly. Instead I devote myself to finding a solution to the established goals and base pricing on the value the final solution brings. It would be very difficult to quantify the time and effort spent both at my desk and away during the design portion of the process.
Proposal and Agreement
After the client and I have completed the consultation phase and have a clear understanding of the goals and terms, a final document is sent to the client containing the project goals along with the terms of our agreement. There will be a deposit required at this stage before I begin the design process.
Once the design process begins I set to work understanding how to approach the needs of my client. This involves familiarizing myself with the clients goals and taking a deeper look into their target audience as well as any competitors.
Sketching allows concepts to be freely and loosely translated to paper. This portion of the process is a discovery phase where ideas are explored and a deeper understanding of the subject matter is established.
Once sketching is complete I take the final concepts and translate those to digital format. This allows me to make adjustments based on clarity at the required sizes and begins the process of establishing the final color palette.
Final Review and Adjustments
The final concept is reviewed in detail before delivery. Any adjustments that need to be made are completed during this process and any exports are also inspected for quality.
Once the concept is complete, I send a detailed case study to the client. This case study contains an overview of my design process for their project and discusses how the final solution accomplishes the goals of the client.
Once the final invoice has been paid, the deliverables (PSD, AI, AE files and any exports) are emailed to the client.