5 Things to do When Your Designer Doesn’t Understand What You Want

You know that feeling when you are having a conversation with someone, and you don’t understand what they say, so you have them repeat it five times, and you still don’t comprehend? Nobody likes that feeling. You can sometimes get away with laughing it off in conversation, but if this happens in a work relationship, such as with your graphic designer, it’s not as easy to shrug off. Your designer needs to know what you expect from their work, and if they aren’t understanding what you want, the project might go a different direction than intended. To prevent that, here’s a few ideas on what try to if there’s just no breaking the communication barrier.

1. Stay Patient

First and foremost, try to stay calm, patient, and assertive throughout the experience, as heated tempers definitely do not increase understanding, and would probably end up making the situation worse. It is most likely that your designer is trying to comprehend what your goals and ideas for the project are, but a miscommunication or misunderstanding might be hindering them from doing so. By staying patient, this leaves opportunity for clearing up whatever the issue might be.

2. Reiterate Your Overall Goals

If you feel that the sights have been set on the wrong target, the solution could be simply to reiterate the overall goal for the project. This could realign your designer with the proper intentions and get the project back on track.  There is always the chance that the designer misunderstood what you meant by a certain goal, and approached it differently than expected. This is a good step to bring these issues up, as correcting this sooner rather than later is ideal.

3. Reword the Direction

Similarly to the overall goals, the direction of the project could be easily misunderstood or miscommunicated. Sometimes rewording the direction is helpful in re-focusing your designer and/or keeping them on the same page with you. Remind them if there are any special requests regarding the design or layout, as well as any elements their initial design might be missing. Doing so should realign them with both the purpose of the project and the desire direction, solving the previous issue.

4. Provide Relevant Examples

Sometimes a more efficient way of communication is hands-on or visual. If all of the spoken methods of communicating discussed above are still not effectively getting your point across, try presenting examples of elements or styles that are relevant to the project your designer is working on for you. The visual representation of what you have been explaining might be the last piece of the puzzle in getting your designer to understand, and could be the turning point of the entire project.

5. Be Specific

If your designer has been having a hard time understanding what you are wanting to do, being vague certainly will not clear anything up. Try to be as specific as possible. While giving examples, point out all the small details you enjoy or dislike and give reasons why. While requesting edits to be made, state specifically what you want changed, and what it should be switched to. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to make sure you and your designer are on the same page.

All of us have times of not understanding what someone else is saying. When it comes to communicating with your designer, however, it’s important to be as clear as possible to prevent any unnecessary delays or frustrations. By trying the tips above, any issues that do come up should be resolved fairly quickly, and the project should be completed as intended.

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