Design Tip 3 - Learn to present and sell your designs

Why is presenting and selling important?

Selling is not a dirty wood, I used to believe it was. Like somehow it would ruin the integrity of my work. I believe designers should change their mindset on this. Selling your design and ideas is the difference between landing a dream project/client, getting your work realised into production, or nothing at all. And it took me a good 6-7 years to get good at this. You gotta Don Draper that shit up and learn how to present it whether that is in person, via video conference or email.

Presenting and selling well is about education. Educating your client on your processes, getting them into seeing your perspective and how your design is going to hit their objectives.

 

How can you get better?

As mentioned you have to sell and answer their why. Why is the design you are proposing the right solution. Put it back to the objectives. How does your work relate back to the business goals? How will it serve users better and create value for them. 

We’ll use email as an example.

Consider these 2 emails. 

 

Hi Bartholemew Shoe,

Here is the homepage design. Let me know what you think.
Attached jpg.

Cheers,
Nguyen

 

Open ended, not very specific and offers no real insight. Versus.

 

Hi Bartholemew Shoe,


Here is the homepage design. It takes into consideration the key objectives that we are trying to reach as outlined in the brief. 


1. Increasing user engagement to key section X, Y, Z. 
2. Increase conversions on target pages X,Y.
3. Decrease drop off rates on page X. 

I also identified and focused on these users as I was mapping out the sections of the homepage. 
1. Staff - Outline specific needs and how we are solving them
2. Parents - Outline specific needs and how we are solving them
3. Teachers - Outline specific needs and how we are solving them
4. Students - Outline specific needs and how we are solving them


Send a link with annotated notes that relate to each user and what each section hopes to achieve. (Use software such as invision or Redpen)
You can view my notes by hovering on the blue dots. You can aslo respond directly to my notes on these comps by simply click on the specific areas. 

Also here is a prototype for how I think certain interactions can work, that can provide a simpler experience for the above users.
Send some prototypes of how the user flow certain interactions can work. 

With this we have a began a good foundation for the visual language for the rest of the site. Would love your feedback and to hear your thoughts. 

Cheers,
Nguyen

 

With this piece of communication we've established 3 things. The overall business objectives, the user objectives and finally thinking about the smaller details in the production itself.  It makes the work more specific. It gives value to the creative. Taking the subjectivity out of it. This can example can be applied to any medium and the principles are the same. 

  • A big project case study on a website.  
  • A presentation for a RFP, both verbal and written. 
  • Presenting your work to clients.
  • Presenting your work to perspective clients via email.

Educate and outline how you can solve specific problems. Tie it all back to why your design and proposition works in relation to these objectives. Do it from a macro and micro level and that’s how you present and sell well. Now go crush it with your design concepts and presentations!