The project landed in your inbox a couple days ago. You’ve said nothing to the designer, but that doesn’t mean that you were too busy to look at it. In fact, you’ve combed over the design about fifty times now, but you just don’t feel ready to hit that final approval button yet. After all, you have quite a bit of money and time invested into this. Will it all go to waste if you just say launch?

Likely, it will not. But it might go to waste if you keep waiting. Here are some tips to help you assess whether the project really needs more work or if you are just stalling.

1. You’ve proofread (or proof-watched if it is a video) and combed through your company’s brand standards a dozen times and can’t find anything amiss. Yet, something still looks off.

Have you ever spent an exceptionally lengthy period of time writing an essay, article, or presentation? Then you likely know that feeling of staring at a certain word so much that it turns into incomprehensible nonsense. If you’re starting to feel like that while examining your project, then it’s likely time to get an outsider’s perspective. The best outsider, in my personal experience, is an average (or below average) user and someone outside of your work. You might know a fair amount about design/videography, but, in my experience, most people do not. Keep it simple and have anyone who cannot successfully name five different fonts answer the following questions:

  • Is it understandable?
  • Does the layout have a logical progression?
  • Is the design clean yet not boring?

If they answer yes to all, then you know that you’ve been over-cooking it.

2. You weren’t certain of what you wanted in the beginning.

Maybe you’re not an artsy person that can envision the exact style that you want for your projects. Not everyone is like that and that’s O.K. That’s what keeps us designers in a job. 😉

If you can’t think of a style, then think about what you want your brand to represent. Did you want it to be vibrant and youthful? Did you want it to be homey and warm? Do you get the desired feelings from this project?

But again, you may be over-analyzing it and it’s time to get an outsider’s perspective. Find someone whom you would consider to be the average consumer of your product/service. What vibes does the design give them on first glance? Poll a few more people or take the issue over to Reddit, where people love giving their opinion to strangers.

3. You were certain of what you wanted in the beginning, but there was a miscommunication.

You asked, “Have the background music be a throwback to the ‘80s,” when you really meant early ‘90’s pop. Maybe you told the designer precisely what you wanted, but they didn’t understand. Miscommunications happen. At the start of the project, it’s really best to not just provide a style but also an example. Since you are reading this article, it’s already too late, isn’t it?

Not necessarily. If you realize that you described the wrong style, send the example of what you really wanted ASAP and the designer may be willing to make a change for you. Unfortunately, though, if your change would involve a complete redesign, the designer may have to charge you extra. If that isn’t within your budget, maybe you can come to a compromise and just make a few little changes to get it closer to your original dream.

Also, be sure to ask yourself before requesting a redesign, “Does this style still work for this brand? Or is it a complete mismatch?” Sometimes it is best to trust the designer. After all, they are an expert in their field.

4. Other staff members at your company keep asking you to add things that were never discussed in the original project specs.

Everyone you work with seems to have an opinion on the project. One person will ask the designer to change something one way but then the next person will tell them to change it back. Perhaps so many people have put in their two cents that now the list of changes equals $100.

Remember when I said other people’s opinions were a good thing? Notice that when I told you to ask for other’s opinions, I told you to ask to people who have no nothing to do with this project. Sometimes people’s egos or personal differences can stand in the way of a wonderful, completed piece. If you were put in charge of this project, you’ll have to follow your instinct on this piece, not anyone else’s. It will be up to you to tell your colleagues that there is no need for further opinions.

Not a fan of laying down the law? Ask the designer for their opinion on the requested changes or ask them what their thought process was on the original design. Then use the designer’s answers to tell your coworkers why the project should be published as it is.

Of course, if the people requesting the changes are your company’s creative director or the owner of the company, those changes will be integral to your brand. Pass them along to the designer in that case.

5. You fear the permanency of it all.

Commitment-phobia has broken up many a relationship; don’t let it break up you and your designer.

In your gut, you know this project can’t get any better, but you worry about how it will age. Maybe you don’t think it is the best it could be but you have a cramped deadline. Depending on the medium, most projects can be built in a way that allows for some form of alteration in the future. This is especially true when it comes to websites. Your developer can even use a platform that allows you to update it yourself (if you’re up to the challenge).

At Perception, we offer month-to-month maintenance packages because we know that you’ll want changes. Your company will grow and evolve over time and so should your marketing efforts. If you sign up with us, asking for a post launch change will be as easy as sending an email.