02/19/13

Design Happiness: Parties & Guacamole

Scenario #1: It's Your Guacamole & Your Logo

PARTY: At the last party you threw for your family, best friends, and a few colleagues, you were prepping your famous guacamole. One of your colleagues commented on how you were not cutting the avocado correctly and jumps in to "save the day." Someone asks if you can put more garlic in it. Your daughter thinks it should be eaten with the blue chips, not the plain ones. In the end, someone cuts their finger, another hates the excess garlic, and your daughter refuses to eat because there weren't blue chips. Now compare this to your last logo design.

LOGO: You start a business and hire a highly recommended designer to put together your logo. She has a long talk with you about your preferences and how your business will be branded. She works with her team on giving you some great ideas. Before you give your feedback, you send it to your best friends, husband, daughter, and a few colleagues. Everyone has different ideas of what it should be and you decide none of them are just right but can't give specific reasons. You're unhappy because no one agreed on one option.

ACTION: Now, you know how to make your famous guacamole and everyone will be happy with the results of it because it's your recipe and always tastes amazing. In the same way, you solicited the help of a professional designer who wouldn't steer you wrong and only your opinion really matters since you're the authority. You know your business best - it's your guacamole… and your logo.


Scenario #2: Too Much vs. Just Enough

PARTY: Imagine the same party. You hired an event planner to do the decorations and planning. They talked to you about what you wanted, figured out what shade of blue for the streamers, and made sure the decor fit the theme. You arrive at your house to find it decorated just as you hoped, but there aren't enough balloons for your taste. The planner explains that it would overwhelm the rest of the decorations if there were anymore balloons. You insist you always have more balloons. Always.

WEBSITE: You need a new website for your business and hire a professional design team to help you put it together. They meet with you to find out every detail of what you like and don't like, the colors, styles, placement. You get a proof of your new homepage back but there isn't enough blue. The designer explains the blue is overwhelming to the rest of the design, which is the reason it was used as an accent instead. You insist you always have way more blue. Always.

ACTION: Now, you know your business and your designer only knows what they've been able to pull out of you. The designer knows good design, user experience, and readability to make sure your website is portrayed in the best way. Although you know your business best, having a fresh perspective will allow you to put your best foot forward. Your event planner and your designer both know how to do great design, and they'll capture the feeling you expect... regardless of what you always do.


5 Tips to Design Happiness

  1. Overshare. Give your designer everything they could possibly need to know about your business and what you like or don't like. No need to hold back - be clear.
  2. Choose wisely. Designers expect you to solicit feedback from other people. Find 2-3 people you trust to get solid feedback from but know you're the final authority.
  3. Give clear feedback. When a designer sends you initial designs, treat them as such. Figure out which path you'd like to go with and explain specifically what you hope to see next.
  4. Don't be scared. Getting outside the box a little is scary, but you trust your designer. Let them rock your world and then help them tone it back a little bit.
  5. Give praise. Everyone loves to hear good things. You have lots of feedback, but don't forget to tell your designer what you like, not just what you don't.

Now… the real question is - who wants some of my famous guacamole?