Jose Cabballer of ThisWeekIn Web Design will be interviewing me (Kevin) today on the topic of “How do I create great presentations for my web design clients?”. You can tune in here at 2:30pm PST (we’ll update this post with the video when it’s available).
UPDATE: here’s the video …
1. What are the most common challenges when presenting design work to customers?
- Customers can’t easily locate and view specific comps
- It’s hard to provide feedback
- The presentation tool itself can distract from your comps
- Design context: if you customers don’t view their design to scale and on the intended device, they make poor design decisions
2. What are best practices in presenting web, tablet and smart phone design?
- In Context: Web design comps should be reviewed in a browser, not email, Acrobat, Mac Preview or Windows Photo Viewer. Mobile design work should be viewed on mobile devices, not cinema displays or laptops. When work is viewed in context, you can better judge contrast, readability and fat finger issues. There’s a workflow context that is also important— churning through designs in email is different from viewing a web page or mobile app on a mobile device. Some customers may not know how to efficiently download, unpack and properly view a ZIP full of files. Everyone knows how to click a link on a web page. Reviewing the work in context ensures that the mental context matches the context that the design will ultimately exist in.
- 100% to Scale: Design comps should be viewed at 100% scale. By default, most image viewing apps (Acrobat, Outlook, Gmail, Mac Preview, Dropbox, Windows Photo Viewer) scale your design work up or down. You don’t want a customer to view your work above or below 100% scale. Doing so will make your one pixel details (that you spent hours to refine) fuzzy. If customers view your work above or below 100% scale, they may unnecessarily ask you to make page elements smaller or larger.
- Content over App Chrome: The presentation tool chrome (it’s UI and windows) can rub off on your design work. Using a presentation tool with as little chrome as possible puts your designs front and center.
3. How do better presentations make you a better designer to your customers?
- Fewer clicks make for happy customers. For example, it may take a hundred or more clicks to successfully navigate ten comps. With the right presentation app, your customer can go through the same work in just ten clicks.
- Customers expect great design work, but they’ll also appreciate well-managed design presentations. Customers should be able to give feedback on the actual each design. If you send your design work via email, you’re not giving your customer a great experience. Instead, you’re encouraging long, hard to read email discussions that are difficult to manage, decipher and track over time.
- Customers will value your attention to detail. Showing a customer their iPhone app comps on an iPhone makes you look smart and allows the customer to give you more accurate and real-world feedback. I guarantee that your customer will be more engaged if you show iPhone design work on their iPhone.