3 Ways to Handle Design Criticisms

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3 Ways to Handle Design Criticisms

When it comes to design, the customer is always right, right? Actually, not necessarily because with the right attitude and the right approach to criticism (which will never really go away!), designers can win and keep their designer sensibilities and more so, get paid handsomely for what they do – because clients actually want to work with them.

Here are some tips in handling criticism from clients:

1. Think of the timelines of the client

Most newbie designers hate the word rush and that’s the main reason for their dilemma when it comes to dealing with overbearing clients. However, sometimes there is a really valid reason why clients are that way. It is possible that the need for the design is immediate because the approvers on their end for the 3D renderings are coming in for only a short period of time. Or it is also because they are launching a new product or office design to the public and the design – your output – need to be at par in the fastest time possible? These things play a big role in the way clients evaluate design output and instead of fighting it, support it and deliver.

The sooner you understand that clients have bosses too, the faster you can get over your initial ego hump when they turn down designs or request for edits.

2. Go beyond the initial X number of design renders rule

When it comes to presenting to clients, it can be tempting to stick to producing only what they will pay for. However, being over prepared also pays. When presenting, always present one design in every possible color combinations possible which may mean that one design for example can have as much as five 3D renderings in different colors or angles. Those 3D renderings may not necessarily be paid but it makes the approval process go faster especially when all of you are barreling towards a looming deadline. Make it easy by investing in 3D rendering services, which make creating samples easier and less labor intensive.

It can be quite taxing and somehow goes against the grain of respecting billable hours but look at it on a bigger picture way – what are a few more samples for a yes when you present for the second time? You get to work on other clients immediately as you are freed up from that project and paid just as quickly too.

3. Go back to basics

Clients, especially those handling brands from other countries or franchises from other companies, adhere to a certain design standard. Most of the time, your design is not bad, it just does not adhere to the design guidelines which the client is legally bound to follow. So go back to basics – check your design if it does adhere to the brand audits based on the guidelines. That way it removes the issue of emotions in the way you will accept criticism and be objective when you edit it, leading to a happy you as a designer and a great output for the paying client.

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