7 Deadly Graphic Designer Sins (And 4 Ways to Atone)
Not growing your design client list? Your personality is more likely to blame than your skill set. As a designer, you’ve probably wished you could know exactly what your clients were thinking at one point or another. Maybe it was when they were vaguely describing how they wanted their design to “pop”. Or maybe when they were trying to express exactly why the fifteenth revision still wasn’t quite right. Or maybe it was after they refused to do a customer testimonial despite insisting they loved everything about the final product. Whatever it was, you probably left the interaction feeling you had no idea how to communicate with your clients. When you consider that 64% of clients cite poor communication as the worst part of working with their designer, it’s clear that the feeling is mutual. But that’s far from the only issue standing in the way of designers and clients getting along. To get to the bottom of the biggest problems in the client-designer relationship, we surveyed 100 users on their experiences working with designers. The big question: What’s the worst part of working with a designer? Who Are These Designers Anyway? Now you might be looking at that 64% and saying, “No way that includes me; I’m not one of those designers.” But it’s more likely than you’d like to think. To get some context on who these communication-challenged designers were, we also asked respondents about how they found their designer. Here’s a breakdown of the results: As you can see online marketplaces are the main source of designers, at 34%, which could explain some of the complaints clients had. Online marketplaces are a notorious gamble for clients, since anyone can create an account, upload a portfolio, and start looking for design jobs. But, between referrals from friends and family members and friends and family members themselves, personal connections win out as the main source of designers for this survey, accounting for almost 45% of the designers discussed by respondents. What does this tell us? Two things: Even with the rise of online marketplaces, like Upwork or Freelancer, referrals and network connections are still the most popular way for designers and clients to find each other; Just because designers have a personal connection to their clients doesn’t mean they’re going to be able to work together without issue, poor communication isn’t something a personal connection can solve. The Worst Parts About Working With a Designer To give customers adequate room to air their designer grievances, we left the response field to this question completely open, allowing them to write as much (or as little) as they wanted. After reviewing the responses, we found that complaints typically fell within one or more of these seven categories. Or, as we like to call them, the seven deadly designer sins: Poor communication; Missed deadlines; Difficulty trusting the designer; Limited revisions; Business needs not taken into account; Cost; Not feeling like a priority. Due to the free-form nature of the responses, many responses fit into multiple categories. Here’s how those issues add up: At 64%, poor communication is overwhelmingly the biggest complaint clients have about their designer. Now, we’ve brought this figure up before, but when you consider other communication-related complaints clients had, the true number is much worse. » Read More
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