5 Steps to a Stress-Free Design Revision Process

Source: https://www.wrike.com/blog/5-steps-stress-free-design-revision-process/

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Every designer and creative professional has had one of those projects: the ones that Just. Won’t. Die. An endless cycle of nitpicky or vague revisions, ten zillion people reviewing and weighing in with conflicting feedback, and clients that have no idea what they want — just what they don’t. 

For the sake of your business, you need to keep clients happy, but you also can’t afford to make endless revisions. So how do you accommodate change requests without losing control of the project (or losing your mind)? Follow these steps for a design revision process that will keep you and your clients happy. 

Step 1: Set clear expectations

During the initial client meeting, thoroughly discuss the project goals and clarify expectations. Don’t assume clients fully understand the design process: how is a revision round defined, and how many are included in their contract? How will they be billed for extra work? What constitutes a major or minor revision? 

Also make sure to review the completed creative brief. Creating a creative brief template for clients to fill out, complete with fields for all the specifics you need (file format, deadline, project objectives, etc.) is a great way to streamline this process and eliminate any surprises later on. A thorough creative brief helps you fully understand what the client is trying to achieve with the project — and deliver on expectations the first time around. 

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Step 2: Refer to the creative brief

When revision requests come through, refer back to the creative brief to ensure those changes bring the design closer in line with the project’s goals. Keeping revision discussions centered on the creative brief also helps prevent unnecessary changes based on personal opinions and preferences, and more on what will actually achieve the desired results.

Step 3: Present your designs with confidence

Your designs aren’t just thrown together based on your personal whims, they’re a product of your expertise, research, and creative talent. Every decision is carefully and strategically made in order to fulfill the client’s needs. So when it’s time to present your work, don’t just send an email that says, “What do you think?†with your designs attached. Restate the project goals as identified in the creative brief, then confidently explain how your work achieves those objectives.

Step 4: Give clients plenty of time to collect their feedback

People often have a knee-jerk reaction to visual designs, so save yourself some trouble by giving clients a two- or three-day window to fully consider their feedback instead of jumping to make updates and changes right away. That initial gut reaction often changes slightly after clients spend some time reviewing the design in depth — and you’re more likely to receive a complete set of comments, rather than a trickle of emails over several days with snippets of conflicting feedback and “I was just thinking…†requests. 

Step 5: Use a collaborative proofing tool

A proper review & approval tool lets clients provide clear, specific feedback directly on digital images and documents, so you’re able to deliver the changes they want the first time. With faster reviews and approvals, you get the job done quickly — which means clients are happy, and you can move on to the next project (and paycheck). 

Streamlining Your Design Revision Process

When it comes right down to it, the design revision process is all about your relationship with your client. Do you fully understand their goals? Do they trust your expertise? Starting your relationship off on the right foot is the key to a painless revision process, and a happy, thriving client base. 

Sources: CreativeBloq.com, ProcessedIdentity.com, YourFreelanceCareer.com, Millo.co

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