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Why we present only one design concept to clients

By Robert Neely
in Creative Process

We've noticed when we present our design work to our clients that giving them too much information can lead them to make worse decisions.

At one point in the past, like many firms we presented multiple design options for a project to clients, and then asked them to choose.

All too often, our clients would choose an option we felt was acceptable but not preferable. Or they would try to pick and choose elements from multiple designs to create a mash-up. Neither was the best solution for their business needs.

Now, these kinds of response aren't the result of something wrong with our clients; they are natural instincts that most people have when seeing multiple designs. But while this response is natural, it's not helpful in terms of creating the best atmosphere for your customers online.

These problematic design situations happened enough that we recognized that we need to change the way we presented design.

Our first step was moving to style tiles. Instead of presenting a full design, we presented a set of colors, typefaces and design ideas that formed the foundation for the design. We found this helped many clients begin to imagine a design. But some weren't completely on board until they saw an actual design.

So we made the decision to present a single design to our clients. We decided that this was the best way to give our clients our best work.

This doesn't mean we don't create multiple designs. We often do. But instead of leaving it to our clients to filter through the options, our creative department does the hard work of choosing what we believe is the strongest recommendation for the client.

We've found that our clients don't miss seeing multiple designs. Seeing a single design recommendation actually helps them better understand what elements will create the right visual atmosphere to help them achieve their business goals digitally. Ultimately, it helps them reach a design they love--and a design that will be effective.

The result is better decisions by our clients and a better final design. That's a smart solution for everyone.

Robert Neely
Robert Neely is Worthwhile’s Client Strategist. He focuses on aligning web app solutions with business strategy, industry realities, and user experience.
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