No matter the industry, the only way to ensure that a product or service is exceptional is to establish a quality control process. A quality assurance practice improves work performance and efficiency. At the same time, it increases customer confidence and a company’s credibility, enabling them to better compete with others.
Since more and more businesses are entering the market each day, your company inevitably has some tough competition to beat. The quality of products and services is a critical competitive advantage in a crowded market.
Graphic design is vital to the success of any business. So, whoever provides graphics for you, needs to have a solid understanding of quality control and assurance.
First, we’ll answer what quality assurance is and why it’s important. Then, we’ll move on to elaborate on how ManyPixels checks the quality of their graphic design.
What is quality assurance?
Simply put, quality assurance is the process of determining whether a product or service meets specified requirements. These requirements may refer to internal qualities (such as chemical make, dimensions, design, etc.) as well as user expectations (whether the product is suitable for the intended use).
So, how does this work in the field of graphic design?
Essentially, it means that the graphic designer understood the client’s vision and delivered a project that meets all the technical and stylistic requirements. For example, a website for a pastry shop might need to have a specific style and feel (inviting, cute, luxurious, etc.) and contain specific elements and information (contact, menu, buy online, etc.).
It’s all about devoting time, thought, and care to the little details that will move the project in the right direction design-wise. But before we delve into this topic any deeper, let’s first answer these two fundamental questions:
- What is quality?
- What is assurance?
What is quality?
Although we all tend to think of quality as a gut feeling, it’s far from subjective.
Quality is measured by key performance indicators (KPIs) in every industry. Different products, services, and industries have different sets of KPIs that can be quantitative (e.g., website traffic) or qualitative (e.g., customer satisfaction surveys).
What is assurance?
Assurance is a positive declaration that the product or service fulfills all the expectations and requirements of a client’s order.
In simple words: it’s that (literal or figurative) stamp of approval you get on a finished product.
Importance of quality assurance (QA)?
How many times did you end up looking between the mockup and the finished design, asking yourself: “How did it turn out like this? Weren’t my guidelines clear?”
Chances are that no quality control process was observed.
Unfortunately, not all companies practice QA, and you can be sure that most freelancers are not familiar with how vital this process is.
In some smaller agencies, freelancers and graphic designers often need to do this process themselves. And self-evaluation can be really challenging. Here’s why:
- It is time-consuming (and time means money).
- Designers can be too subjective in this situation; they can even over-evaluate their work and vice versa.
- Many designers are not familiar with assessment criteria.
So, you need someone not directly involved in the production process to provide a more objective view. That is why it is necessary to have an experienced quality control manager (or head of the creative department). They know how to measure KPIs and spot discrepancies between the request/concept and the final product.
How do we at ManyPixels approach this matter?
The point of effective graphic design is to solve a problem. This thinking is at the core of our quality assurance methodology at ManyPixels.
When approaching a client’s brief, we always start with the following question: what is the primary purpose of this design (to promote, inform, build brand awareness, call to action, etc.)?
Organization and preparation play a vital role in any design’s success. Before we start any project, we strive to have all the information we need to avoid potential bottlenecks in the process later.
That is why we use a precise graphic design quality assurance checklist. Please note that this checklist thoroughly follows your project requirements and plans.
Every finalized design must be reviewed by one of our experienced quality control managers. They are the ones who work hand in hand with the designers to ensure that the quality is impeccable.
We created a process through which the designer can accumulate up to 100 points in three major categories:
- Customer requirements – Before we present our final product to our client, the deliverables must comply with the design brief and follow the branding guidelines. This includes color schemes, fonts, logo applications, and all other attachments and guidelines that customers provide.
- Acceptance criteria – This step makes sure that deliverables are clear and concise without any mistakes that designers might have overlooked. This includes grammatical and punctuation errors, typography errors, incorrect alignment, and spacing. The point of acceptance criteria is to ensure that already predefined requirements are followed before we can mark the project as complete.
- Performance criteria – In this category, we rate whether the designer submitted the work within the deadline and whether the client’s brief was respected. Also, in this step, we control the use and naming of the folder structure (raw files, preview files, etc.)
As you can see, each of these categories has a series of subcategories, which allow for more precise scoring. For example, compliance with the brief and respect for brand guidelines are two subcategories. Alignment and compliance with other design principles (balance, rhythm) are others, and so on.
After evaluation, our quality control managers can quickly pinpoint where the design needs improvement or alteration to be sure we deliver an exceptional end product.
What guarantees that the design you get is original and authentic?
We deliver graphic design projects daily, all year round. But does all this work cause creative fatigue for our designers?
Definitely not! ManyPixels has a strong community of designers who benefit from a constant flow of ideas. We also have reasonable expectations: no designer works with more than five clients at a time. So, there’s always some extra room for research and improvement to help them deliver creative and unique designs.
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Our work is never templated, and we encourage our designers to design based on the customer’s guidelines. We also discourage the use of the graphic assets provided by third-party websites.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use templates in your design requests! It’s a great way to save time, especially when the client has a clear vision of how we should adapt an existing template.
However, bear in mind that the QA control process is slightly different in this case. Since the designer will be working in a more rigid framework, our quality controller will usually have a much easier task. They simply check if the modifications are in-line with the client’s request and don’t disrupt the balance of the overall composition.
Naturally, whatever the project, your feedback as a client is critical. Please be as detailed and as specific as possible. Even if it’s to say that we need to overhaul the initial brief completely - we won’t be satisfied unless you are!
Timely feedback is a critical prerequisite for a smooth design process, so as soon as you think something isn’t right, speak up!
Why should you hire us?
Learn how to get started with our unlimited graphic design service
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Nothing is more expensive than a poorly created design. It hurts your brand, marketing efforts, and it will cost you a lot of time and money on revisions in the long term.
Avoid this by hiring a team of professionals whose business is creating graphic design solutions according to your needs.
Hiring freelancers can be time-consuming, and you never know if you’re their top priority. Also, don’t expect a comprehensive quality assurance system - you’ll need to do this part yourself!
Design agencies, on the other hand, are very expensive and usually out of reach for most small businesses or startups.
But what if you could get a top-notch, professional design service at a highly affordable rate?
ManyPixels is a subscription-based company that offers impeccable graphic design services at a fixed monthly rate. That means you can submit as many design requests as you want and always pay the same flat fee. No nasty surprises or overhead costs!
Our simple design platform allows you to request, track the design progress, and communicate with your designer. It also allows you to contact our quality control managers directly - teamwork makes the dream work!
And how about the turnaround time? Well, if ManyPixels were a superhero, we would undoubtedly be Flash because most requests take just 1 to 2 business days to complete!
ManyPixels is a design partner that can push forward and help you knock your competition out of the park. Our goal is to see your business blossom, and your success is our success!
Think about your company’s vision, and contact us when you are ready for some tactical planning! We will be waiting for you!