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Review and Approval4:20 with Pasan Premaratne
One of the hardest aspects of freelancing is when a client asks you to make changes so close to the deadline. This can be mitigated by providing for ample review and approval time. In this video, let’s go over how you can set up a review process to reduce some of the headaches.
[Pasan Premaratne] When working with a client one of the important things is allowing for an approval or review process. 0:00 You have to identify what's a good balance between the client, having the room to make certain changes, 0:06 and you having way too many revisions. 0:11 But even if you allow for revisions you need to have a process about it. 0:13 If your process is to just email the client some files and let him respond with comments, the lack of structure will soon frustrate you. 0:18 Clients won't be able to properly explain what changes they want and that's understandable. 0:25 Design, or development, is not an area of expertise for them. 0:31 So their vague directions will lead to either more revisions further along in the project and lots of frustrations. 0:34 If you took the time to understand both the client's and the user's needs early on, then the review process can be a lot less painful. 0:41 In this video we're going to go over some tips that can help you improve your review process. 0:49 First, provide guidelines. Often times clients don't know how to provide feedback. 0:55 As a designer getting feedback like, "I just don't like it," doesn't serve either party well. 1:01 You don't know their reasons for disliking the design. 1:06 You have no constructive criticism and therefore, can't really make a change that you know the client will agree with. 1:09 Spend some time talking to your client and educate them in how to provide valuable feedback that will make the project easier. 1:15 Ask them to explain gut reactions. 1:23 Rather than saying, "I just don't like this," ask them to think about what exactly it is they don't like and why. 1:25 Sometimes these reactions are warranted, but most times it's because the client doesn't understand 1:32 the purpose of a certain design consideration. 1:37 It either doesn't make sense off the bat, or you're not presenting the work in the right medium. 1:40 For example, attaching static screenshots of a webpage won't help explain your design considerations with a hidden navigation bar. 1:45 Certain things are better understood in the browser. 1:52 Show examples of articulated observations that help the approval process. 1:55 Show that you invite constructive criticism and relevant questions. 2:00 Wherever you can, walk your client through your design considerations. Don't expect them to understand everything. 2:05 Clients need to understand the choices you made. Otherwise they might approach them from a biased or uneducated perspective. 2:11 Then you can provide explanations or documentation. 2:19 Written supporting material can go a long way to explaining your design considerations. 2:22 It might be easy to convey your thoughts and process to your client, 2:27 but there's a high chance that the client is not in charge of the approval process. 2:30 He or she has to then explain it to other stakeholders in this organization. 2:35 You won't be there to present to these people like you did for your client, 2:38 and you can't expect your client to explain your ideas as well as you did. 2:42 By providing documentation or some form of written explanation, you can ensure that everyone who sees your designs 2:46 understands the message behind it. 2:52 You should also control the direction of the feedback. 2:55 This can be tied to providing guidelines, which we mentioned earlier. 2:58 When explaining, explain the design within the context of the content and the audience. 3:02 When clients evaluate designs they tend to be biased and evaluate it from a personal perspective. 3:07 Remind them that everything should be judged from a user's perspective. 3:13 When presenting your designs always present them in the best medium possible. 3:18 This goes along way to getting the client to really understand your design choices. 3:22 It's hard to convey what's above the fold when you print or send over the Photoshop files or static images. 3:27 Here's a few tips on how you could go about doing that. 3:33 If your client is a local client, then set up a time to present the website to them and walk them through the designs. 3:37 If the client is remote, set the website up on a server and schedule a phone call with them to walk through the designs. 3:43 There are also apps that can help you with this task. 3:50 Check out InVision app, one that's made specifically for sharing, review, and approval. 3:53 Or you can use Basecamp to invite clients to the project where they can comment on any files. 3:58 The review process is really important to your sanity as a freelancer. 4:04 Following these steps doesn't necessarily mean that the review and approval process will always be easy and efficient, 4:08 but it will make the task much smoother. 4:14 The more you do it, the better you can streamline your workflow. 4:17
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