Do you ever find yourself stuck in a state of indecision? There’s usually a reason for it. It’s not because you don’t want to make a decision. More often, its because you’re not confident in the proposed solution, or you’re not confident you’re solving the right problem.
Indecision can be a big roadblock and I’d like to offer a few tips, from a design perspective, on how you can kick indecision to the curb.
5 Ways to Feel Confident in Your Choice of Design Partners
1. Make sure they are problem-solvers.
A demonstrated ability to execute highly creative work is important—but that encompasses more than what the final product looks like. It’s also about understanding and applying research, defining strategy, and designing brands that meet your objectives. With a true problem-solving creative team, you’ll not only be more confident in your design solutions, you’ll know you’re solving the right problems.
2. Make sure they are collaborative partners.
Two-way communication and collaboration mean everyone is invested in the project and its success. You should be comfortable bringing your ideas and knowledge to the table, and your design team should be comfortable showcasing their ideas and experience, and working together to develop the best solution. In addition to building trust, you’ll build equity with your design partners as their knowledge of your company grows—saving you time and money in the future.
3. Ask about the creative process that will guide the way.
Most designers have an approach to creative projects, and while the process may vary depending on circumstances, there are certain elements that are essential. They include gathering information about your company, project objectives, customers, competition and industry trends. This information means creative work that’s strategically-based, targeted, and effective.
Also, don’t discount a design that doesn’t blow your socks off the first time you see it. Every solution doesn’t call for “new and exciting” because “effective and relevant” often wins the day. This is what a tried-and-tested creative process will reveal.
As an example, I’ve outlined the L&A methodology here:
Listen We listen closely to understand who you are, where you are, what you need, what challenges you’ve encountered and how we can help.
Define We specifically define the problem (typically in the form of a creative brief) to ensure we’re on the right path.
Immerse We get to know your company, your customers, your market and your competitors as well as we know our own. We learn everything we can and use it to inform our process.
Create This is where our design and messaging solutions begin to take shape.
Share This is where feedback and collaboration happen.
Refine The solution becomes more clear, more solid and more powerful.
Document We provide support tools to ensure your visual identity and packaging live on with consistency, flexibility and extensibility even after your project is complete.
Deliver + Follow-up Every file, template, tool or document you need is delivered as promised, and we’re always available to answer questions and provide additional support. We want to review the results with our clients to continually learn and improve.
4. Understand how the design firm manages “the business side.”
It’s essential to discuss and agree on the schedule, approval process, and budget up-front.
5. Assess the design firm’s level of engagement.
Hopefully, your design firm is as passionate about your project as you are— you’ll get better work from people you want to work with, and who want to work with you.
If you have questions about how to solve business problems more successfully with good design, let’s talk. It’s one more decision you can feel good about.