It’s easy to get your strategy and design all planned out, dive into the design, and never look back. But if you’re doing things that way you’re missing a huge and valuable piece in your process.
Instead of starting your mockups and just going to town, it’s important to take note of the decisions you make.
Why is this opt-in area there? Why is this call-to-action over here? Why is this button this color?
I’m sure you’re wondering why in the world you’d add this bit of extra work for yourself, so today we’ll touch on why you need to take note of your design decisions.
So…who are these notes for?
You might think that taking notes throughout your design process is a waste of time. After all, you either know why you’ve made different decisions orrrrr you don’t really care that much. But remember, when your client sees your website design for the first time they won’t have any idea that you had a reason behind the decisions you made. They’ll be judging solely based on whether or not they like the look of what they see.
We don’t want that!
That’s why it’s important for you to know that these notes aren’t for you, they’re for your clients.
Why these notes are beneficial
Having these detailed notes from your design process is going to be important when it’s time to present your design to your clients. I highly recommend meeting on Skype or recording a video of yourself walking through the design and all the important decisions. (Head over to this blog post to learn more)
Since doing presentations with my own clients, I’ve seen a huge reduction in the number of revisions I’m asked to do, simply because my clients understand the decisions I’ve made. For example, in late 2016, before I started doing this, I had a client come back after seeing her website with 17 pages of revisions. PAGES. I’ll let you use your imagination to figure out how I felt about that.
On the other hand, a client I finished up with recently came back with three bullet points. Much. Better.
Why such a huge difference?
The difference for these two clients was all in the presentation. With the first client, I sent her a link to check out the website without any explanation. With the second, I recorded a 15-minute video of myself going through each page of the website and the decisions I made throughout. If something different from the original design (remember, I do development), I explained exactly why the change was made so she wasn’t left to wonder.
As you can probably imagine, that second client was also happier with the work I did and more quick to tell friends about how much thought I put into the websites I create. #winwin
Give it a try
The next time you start a design project, take note of all the strategic decisions you make. Then, when you’re ready to present the design to your client, hop on Skype or record a video to walk through those decisions you took notes on.
I bet you’ll find a happier client who has a much better understanding of the value you provided!
If, through this process, you find that you need to add a liiiiittle more thought into your website designs (hey, it happens), check out my 10 step checklist on designing a strategic and effective website for your clients. You’ll find that you get better results both for them and yourself!