You’ve been working on a website design for about a month, and it’s scheduled to launch next week. You channeled your soul into bringing something new and it is time to get sign-offs from your peers and coworkers.
Good job! Everyone loves your work. However, they suggest that you should send it over to the client for one last look. That’s okay, it will be quick.
Oh, wait! The client just suggested a bunch of changes. Since customer satisfaction is your highest priority, you make the changes even though the design has already been approved by your boss and colleagues. But once you’re done with the changes, do you have to send it back to your team to review once again? Don’t you think it might delay the launch? And aren’t you worried about the rest of your to-do list?
Looks like you’re in an “approval pickle”. Surprisingly, you’re not alone. Most of the people (including designers) would agree that waiting for other’s action is the biggest productivity barrier they’re facing today. Even in this technologically enhanced business world, review and approval processes present a major challenge.
Let’s go over some simple hacks that might help you speed up the review and approval process. Sending your design to the client for final approval? Here’s what you need to keep in mind.
1. Trim the chain
“Too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil the soup.” – The saying truly applies to a review/approval chain. Limit the number of people you invite to review your design. Consider being selective about the relevancy of reviewers you add to your graphic design review/approval chain. Ask yourself some important questions: Is the person available? Is the person able to offer a new or overlooked perspective? Would it speed things up if you trim the person out of the chain of review? …and so on.
2. Ask for actionable feedback
The issue of abstract and non-specific feedback is a matter of discussion. “I don’t like it”, “it’s too large”, “it too dark” – these are the examples of incomplete and unhelpful feedback. A reviewer’s job is not only to highlight the areas of improvement in your work, but also to provide specific, contextual, and actionable feedback so you can actually improve it. Consider using the right tool for the right job. Try online proofing software that allows your review panel to share their actionable and abstract opinion using markup tools and comments.
3. Communicate the bigger picture
One of the biggest reasons why a review/approval process might take up a lot of your time is that the reviewers are unaware of the consequences of missing the deadline. That’s why it is important that you make them understand the consequences through communication. Help them see the big picture and made them aware of the critical role they play in the process. This will help you save everyone from getting caught in the hamster wheel of stress and frustration.
4. Set a “Move On” deadline
You certainly understand the importance of timely delivery, right? Well, convey the same to others. Communicate the urgency and get everyone (including yourself) committed that they will adhere to the planned timeline. While doing so, make sure that everyone agrees to the “Move On” clause – if anyone fails to meet the deadline or provide their input on schedule, the project continues. Don’t wait or let anyone else wait with bated breath.
Whether you’re creating logos, business cards, or a website – being a designer, you always have a process to follow. However, things can get out of your hands quickly if the “reviews and approvals” are not managed right. Put these simple tricks in practice and get your designs approved and out the door in no time.