Designing the user interface of an app or a website often feels unrewarding. When you do it right, there’s no recognition. But when something goes wrong, the problem explodes. However, the UI/UX designers as the unsung heroes of the tech world have to take it on them to roll out aesthetically appealing, intuitive and functional UI UX solutions for the clients and consumers.
If you are new to the world of web design and designing the user interface and if it excites you, you are at the right place. This post is all about shedding light on the top rookie mistakes you are most likely to make during client communication.
Not just beginners, we have personally seen some experts commit grave errors when it comes to coordinating with clients. We have top mistakes so you can be aware of them when you are interacting with potential clients next time.
Let’s get started but before that, let’s take a ground-up approach to understand UI/UX and start from the basics. We will gradually proceed to explore the mistakes.
The difference between UI and UX
One of the fundamental errors starts with having an unclear understanding of UI and UX. Beginners, generally, come with a misconception that both are similar and that they can be interchangeably used. That’s wrong. Both are distinct in their purposes and functionalities. Let’s quickly understand them.
User interface is the element that users interact with on a website, app, blog, or other digital products and services. User interface represents everything from the simple CTA (Call To Action) button to voice-based commands in-car infotainment systems. Basically, anything that streamlines communication between people and machines is a user interface.
Learn how design can help you crush goals in SaaS business
Download our SaaS Design Guidebook
Your guide was succesfully sent
Please check your inbox to download our guide.
On the other hand, UX stems from the experience people have when interacting with the user interface. For instance, when they try to purchase something from an online store, they want to select their preferred products, add to cart and check out. This is ideally a good user experience.
However, when designers go overboard with elements or underdeliver with a lack of modules and functionalities, customers end up getting frustrated and abandon the website. This is a negative user experience. UX is directly associated with UI.
User experience and user interface design best practices
Since you’re starting out new, here are some quick tips on how you could better deliver UX through optimized UI. Even if you’re a pro, it’s good to use these points as a roadmap to stay on track.
- Understand your audience, their demographics, tech capabilities, learning curve involved in handling devices, designing UI for apps and much more.
- Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer and think from their perspective.
- Select the right typography and color schemes according to your market segment, intended target audience and brand tone.
- Keep designs as minimal as possible and restrain navigations to minimum clicks and scrolls.
- Design interface for screens of all sizes.
- Test, test and consistently test your design.
- Keep CTAs as clear and precise as possible.
- Align texts for uniformity.
- Make good use of whitespaces to make your design look clutter-free.
- Utilize color contrasts for emphasis and design hierarchy.
Rookie mistakes to avoid during client communication
Now that we have understood the basics, let’s look at some of the common mistakes you are most likely to make that could cost you your client.
Mentioning only deliverables
Never label your work with an end card such as deliverables. When you say deliverables, people – it could be your team, your client, or both – tend to only think or visualize finished products. Your explanation of design elements and concepts will make them assume the finished product will reflect the same as well.
However, that hardly happens as the design evolves in the process. Finally, when you show the results, their expectations go for a toss. Instead, keep communicating the progress to your clients and call your deliverables ”projects.”
Instant initiation of the designing process
As soon as you get your brief, it is natural to feel excited about a new project and getting started with it. However, several people immediately start designing the user interface. Hardly any research or reference goes into the process. Doing so will only make you do twice or thrice the work because of back and forth communications, iterations and fixes.
As a general rule of thumb, it is better to reject the first five ideas you get and then slowly build on the sixth idea that strikes your mind. Besides, understanding your target audiences, checking out competitors and market expectations also come into play.
Not using milestones
Project milestones give an idea to stakeholders on how the design is progressing or how a product is evolving in real-time. Milestones involve the sequencing of events in a linear progression. For instance, your milestone for user interface design could be the following:
- Exchange of ideas or notes for approval
- Storyboard submission and approval
- Wireframe designing and approval
- Mockup 1
- Mockup 2 with content
- Product Demo
- Final Approval
This sets expectations from a client perspective straight and leaves any assumptions aside. Defining milestones also allows you to have a clear vision of how you would go about the designing process and fix tentative dates for completion. With this, you will also have an idea on when to take up a new project.
Show in-progress work
This is an extension of the previous point we discussed, where you consistently show your in-progress work to stakeholders. Clients love to collaborate with proactive people who always keep them in the loop with every minute of advancements.
Within your milestone, you could have micro-milestones or submissions, where you update your client about changes made, elements or features added, suggestions to add new functionalities and more. When you are in a zone where your clients don’t have to come behind you for updates, chances are highly likely that you would be their preferred working partner.
Prevent communication gap
The communication gap has destroyed more relationships and rapport than bad work ever has. One of the major turn-offs for clients is when their designers or team members ghost them or fail to communicate project details with them. Clients are always happy to accommodate deadline extensions and they are very humane in their collaboration as well. It is only our assumptions that tend to make us paranoid about consequences.
So, regardless of your situation, make it a point to communicate everything to your clients. It’s a transaction and all you have to do is share both good things and concerns with them with respect to your projects. The more you are transparent, the better your collaboration will be.
Use the right communication platform
Now that you know communicating is important, it is time to understand where to communicate. Driven by an urge to communicate updates, you can’t compromise on professionalism. So, whatever you have to share with your client about your work, do that on the platform you are already in touch with.
For instance, keep your communication to emails if your primary medium of contact is email. Don’t go about calling them on their phone numbers or texting them on messenger.
Golden rule – stay away from social media connections and messaging.
Even if it is an emergency about work and you absolutely have to call them, send them an email about your permission to use their number on the signature. Maintaining professional integrity is looked up to always.
Learn how to get started with our unlimited graphic design service
Download the ManyPixels User Guide — you’ll find all the useful information there
Your guide was succesfully sent
Please check your inbox to download our guide.
Consider the client’s available resources
When you’re working on a project, don’t identify yourself as a siloed department or a workforce. Factor in any resource that your client would have at that point in time. This could be their tech infrastructure, a small development team, an intern, tools that you might need, or anything. Collaborate as much as you can with your client’s resources and dependencies and consider the collaboration as a joint effort.
You will be surprised to notice that the amount of time, effort and expenses you would spend on working on the project would reduce dramatically. In the end, you complete the project in time and in a quality that is appreciated.
Ask for recognition
Once the project is done and your clients are happy about the results, ask for recognition. This could be anything from Google reviews or portfolio approvals to recommendations or endorsements. This will let you take ownership of your work and pride in it.
So, these were the rookie mistakes UI UX designers make when collaborating with clients. How many of them are you guilty of making? It doesn’t matter because now you know what to avoid. Follow them and turn all your one-time collaborations into long-term clients.
Written by Patrick R, A techno-commercial leader heading Intuz as Director of Growth, with over 12 years of experience in the field of Information Technology. His experience and expertise will entice developers and business entrepreneurs with rich content on the latest technology stack.