As a general rule, design students are thoroughly prepared to be good professionals in the future. They study lots of theory, learn to use the necessary tools and dedicate a large number of hours to practicing the knowledge they acquire.
When they finish their studies, they feel ready and eager and go out into the world, the problem is that very soon they will find something for which they were not prepared, the most difficult challenge, the thing that will drive them crazier than an Adobe update: The client.
Start Working Without a Creative Briefing
A creative briefing is a must and how to do it should be part of your skillset. This step is of vital importance since it will guide you, the designer during the creative process, in it you will find all the directions and necessary details to carry out the project successfully.
Some clients will provide it directly (lovely angels), others won’t know what you are talking about and some will not put much interest in doing it, but you have to insist, DO NOT put yourself to work without it. Starting without having very clear ideas will become, and be sure it will, in subsequent changes, delays or other problems. Seriously, you can’t work on a design without knowing exactly what the client wants.
Avoiding Contact with The Client
Many designers avoid their clients as much as they can, either by shyness, insecurity, or by not “wasting time” on anything other than design. This is one of the biggest mistakes that the graphic or web designers make when dealing with a client. On the one hand, the client may feel ignored, she or he may even doubt if you are really involved in the project, they hired you for.
Also, think that if you communicate with your client regularly you will know at every moment if they are satisfied with the development of the project or if on the the other hand you must make some changes, this will help you to make the necessary adjustments little by little and focus your work correctly, if you don’t do it. Criticism may arrive all together at the end and you may have to make big changes that you might no longer have time for, the project may become unprofitable, or you might even lose the gig.
Not Making a Contract
This is also one of the mistakes made by the graphic or web designers when dealing with a more frequent customer and the thing that brings more problems in the future. Many designers don’t see it as necessary; others fear that the contract will “scare” the customers away or hurt the relationship.
A contract is an agreement between both parties where the conditions, guarantees and obligations of each side are stipulated, when signing both client and designer are committing to fulfill their part. If a client is reluctant to sign it, explain that this contract is also a guarantee for him and that the only thing you are looking for is to do things well and in a serious way. If you still do not want to sign, raise all red flags.