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Why You Need to Invest in Discovery Sessions
It vets both you and the designer
There are many great designers out there, but there is never a guarantee that they are the right person to work with you. This also applies to you, as the client. You may be a great client but not necessarily the right match for a particular designer. It’s important to find a designer who “gets you” and is aligned with what you want for your business.
A designer who does not ask a lot of questions or is not digging deep about the “why” and “how” of your business and projects probably is not the right designer for you. They could just be looking at you as a number or another paycheck. This is not a good sign.
This process saves both you and a designer time. No one wants you to spend money unnecessarily. A good designer should recommend you to others or give you advice if they refer you to another person.
It allows your designer to learn about you, your business, your goals, expectations, and even know your fears and worries.
There is a misconception that designers are also mind readers. It is very rare that a designer can come up with the perfect solution to your problem without knowing much about you or your business.
A good designer will learn the ins and outs of your business. They will ask you deep questions about your goals. Think ROI. What is the end result and how many sales your leads you want within 6 months, one year, etc.
If you’re working on your branding, the designer should be asking you questions about your target market, their wants and needs, what they expect, industry standards, and other questions of the like.
Designers who are sincerely interested in working with you will also want to know what you’re expecting. They will also address any worries or fears you may have about the project. It’s completely normal to have some hesitation, especially if you’re not clear about everything. A designer can help walk you through any questions or concerns you have and address them immediately.
A designer that is a right fit for you should make you feel that you are taken care of and that your project is in good hands.
It gives you, the client, clarity about your own business and your goals.
Running a business is time-consuming and owners tend to wear multiple hats at all time. It’s easy to get in the mode of just doing the work and to ignore some of the behind-the-scenes necessities. We often overlook important details, like understanding our true goals and mission.
There have been many times that during the discovery process with a client – they have flat out told me that they’ve never thought of these questions before. I’ve printed off extra copies of my questionnaires to give them so that they could further think about my questions and get back to me if they are stuck on anything.
In my experience, what ends up making a project successful is when both the client and the designer have a clear idea about the brand, the project’s goals and mission, and ultimately the desired end result of completing the project. A designer is not a mind-reader and if you are unclear about what you are wanting, the project will not be a success.
A deep discovery session ensures quality work that is aligned to your mission and goals
Having a discovery session allows the designer to clearly see what the project is needing and the solutions it needs to provide. The more information the designer has, the more specific the designer can be. No one likes guesswork, and designing with ambiguity is daunting, oftentimes ending in a sub-par result.
Gives you clarity about expectations and timelines
The discovery phase also allows the designer to convey their expectations and explain their processes to you so that there is no confusion moving forward. A designer should be able to explain the phases of a project to you and clearly indicate when various tasks need to be completed, either by the designer or the client.
A designer should make you aware of any additional fees that could incur (forms being submitted late, working outside the scope of the project, working weekend or extended hours, etc.). Many designers include office hours and preferred methods of communication in their discovery sessions / proposals. I like to include these tidbits from the get-go so everyone is on the same page.
All in all, the more clarity you have your business and the project goals and expectations – the more likely your project will be a huge success. Remember, designers are not mind-readers but instead problem-solvers. A good designer should ask you a lot of questions. If they do not, they are probably not the designer for you even if they have outstanding work.
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