Many organisations dread undertaking design work, because it is difficult to manage and can quickly eat up a lot of time and resource without much to show for it.
What Makes a Good Design?
And here lies the problem; design is so subjective! A design will be loved by one and loathed by another. Just take a look at the feedback Apple has had for various designs. Someone obviously love it, or it wouldn’t have been released, but there are plenty of people that loath it.
Here are a few tips and tools to help get that email design signed off and out the door:
1) Keep the Design Committee Small:
Convincing a small group of people to agree on a design is difficult enough, so do yourself a favour and don’t invite too many colleagues to join in. Also, avoid letting people join in too late in the process, as this will undoubtedly result in otherwise avoidable work.
2) Identify the Design Decision Maker:
Ultimately it is important for one person to have the final say on what looks good, as design by committee will result in a rather ugly compromise that nobody is completely happy with. This decision maker will normally be the Brand or Marketing manager.
3) Give your Designer Clear Instructions:
Designers are very talented, but it is the job of the Marketing Manager to harness this talent and focus it, so that the design fulfils the original requirements. Give a detailed brief and wireframe of what you want the email to look like. You may also want to give some examples of the sort of design work you would like done.
4) Email Designers Are Not (Always) Email Builders:
I am very lucky, as the GraphicMail designers are also capable of building emails. However in a lot of organisations email design work and email building are carried out by two different people, or the email build is outsourced to us. If email design work and email building is carried out by separate people, make sure the designer understands the constraints in what is possible in HTML email.
5) The Wrong Feedback Tool – Email:
Too often feedback on a design is given via a huge chain of confusing emails. The trouble with this feedback method is that you are not sure if all points have been dealt with.
6) Visual Feedback:
- Give feedback as a group on a specific email design.
- Draw visual annotations on the email itself, removing ambiguity in your feedback.
- Easily identify who left each bit of feedback.
- Archive comments for auditing purposes.