Sunday, May 15, 2005

Iterative Design

My agreements with my clients often include an hourly charge for Iterative Design. What the heck is that? It's the time during which I respond to their feedback, generating more interpretations of the design. Many "artists" get frustrated by this part of a project. The issue is that many designers get invested in a particular design, and forget that the goal is to create a communication piece between the client and their clients.

Truth be told, many clients don't understand this, either, and think that a logo or other communication piece is for themselves. They feel that if they like it, it must be good. These clients are the ones who would benefit from an arrangement with a market research firm.

The main reason I love the iterative process is that language is so subjective. When a client uses the words "flowing lines, shows that we provide personal service, high-tech but old-fashioned" what does that really mean? When I show a couple of samples of a design built from my understanding of those words, I get feedback which guides the next round.

I'm very good and fast at this. It's never "20 questions." Usually by the third or fourth round, the design is very close to what the client needs, and after seeing it, they realize it's what they would have described if they'd known exactly what they were after.

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