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  • Writer's pictureJulie Alleshouse

3 Tips to help Creatives Enhance their Design Process



Effective communication is critical to success in our fast-paced world, especially for creative people. Establishing clear lines of communication allows you to understand client needs while ensuring transparency and efficiency. These three tips guide designers aspiring to elevate their work to new levels of excellence.


Tip #1 Have a Creative Brief

A creative brief is a compact document, usually a page or two in length, that summarizes the critical information a writer, designer, videographer, or other creative professional needs to understand a project (Aaron Taylor). This information includes the problem to be solved, the target audience, brand guidelines, etc. Keeping the creative brief in front of you while working on a project will help you stay focused on the project goals. However, the creative brief must be well-written with clear objectives to ensure clarity and save time and money.


Tip #2 - Active Listening


Have you ever thought you understood what your client wanted, only to realize you needed to be corrected? Many designers excel at creating visually stunning pieces but sometimes need help with their people skills. Empathizing with your client is vital to understanding the problem and making the client feel heard. I once interviewed a friend who is a product designer, and he stressed the importance of active listening. He said, "I wanted my work to go beyond just capturing the client's attention, so I started asking my clients deeper questions about their users—even requesting to interview them." By taking the time to understand the client and user needs, my friend gained a broader perspective on the problem by asking the right questions to the right people. In other words, he put himself in the user's shoes and created a solution that met his client's goals and vision while providing the users with a positive experience. If you haven't already, it's time to start practicing active listening.


"To say that a person feels listened to means a lot more than just their ideas get heard. It's a sign of respect. It makes people feel valued.” — Deborah Tannen, Georgetown University."

Tip #3 - Receiving Constructive Feedback


One of the best advice I ever received was keeping my emotions out of my design work. Why is this important? Clients may only sometimes know what they want once they see it! This means visual designers should be open to receiving positive and negative feedback on their drafts and be able to adjust based on the client’s suggestions without taking offense. Taking offense to your client’s feedback could harm your relationship and work prospects, so remember, it’s not about you. Your goal is to satisfy the client and cultivate a lasting working relationship.

 

Furthermore, client feedback can also help designers improve their skills by providing an alternative perspective. I’m thankful to have a few close friends who are also creatives and are always happy to look at something I have created and give me feedback. This has genuinely helped me grow in my work.


Take Your Creativity to the Next Level

Creatives can elevate their work and deliver exceptional results by creating a comprehensive creative brief, listening attentively, and embracing constructive feedback. These principles will also improve the design process and set the stage for continued success.

 

What tips have helped you become more efficient and meet deadlines? Share your insights in the comments!

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