As designers, we’re hired to develop and design a variety of things, and our focus is on content strategy, UI, UX, etc. Our clients are trusting us to deliver a great product in return for their investment. However, far too often, I’m hearing horror stories and seeing final products that should have never been released. I’ve come across some of these designers, and, in great confidence, they say, “the client doesn’t know the difference.” or “It works, doesn’t it?!”. If you haven’t already, please ask yourself, is this your standard?
You should care about the product you deliver, and I mean actually care. You should be proud of the work you do. You should value the money a client pays you, and stop feeling entitled to the money until you have delivered. If you can’t deliver a high quality product, then don’t do it. This will stop you from being defensive about the work you do, and you will feel good about the project when you go to put in on your portfolio page.
If you care about what you deliver, you’ll feel happier with your work. Most importantly though, you will be creating value for your clients, which is what they’ve hired you to do.
I worked for a place that always seemed to be doing things last minute. This meant that I would have to create posters, webpages, videos, etc. last minute with little time to complete them. This meant a lot of late nights and very rushed jobs. Sure, design is all about communicating a basic message but for the designer you start to learn some very bad habits. I have since left this job because it was getting out of control. After leaving the position I had more time to complete my projects but the bad habits stayed and it was hard to move forward because the concept of good design was lost as a designer in practice. You will find yourself always trying to cut corners and that will turn you into a bad and unhappy designer. You can have all of the theory under your belt like I had but you will lack the ability to make great design because you don’t practice it.
Fast forward a few short months.
Now when I complete a project for a client I feel proud and I want to show it off because I know I have done the project justice. I can look at the details without having to look away. So what can you do if you find yourself in a similar situation? Well, do personal projects for yourself. Go as far as creating your own textures, take your time, think about the process, avoid the tempting freebies online, think about the message, and just be happy with the final result at the end of the day.