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All about your work flow


Sean Lee-Amies

Most of us are at the point where we've spent quite a lot of time refining how we do our jobs, and how to get the best out of not only ourselves, but our clients too. However, there is always going to be something that someone else does that you haven't thought of, or they're doing it better. I thought this would be a good opportunity for some of our more experienced designers to share some knowledge with some of our fresher designers, I hope lots of you will participate :)
What I'm really after is an answer to the question, what is it about you and your work flow that makes you successful?
What techniques or approaches do you use with clients in order to get the best results for your project?
For example, I always make it a point to get my clients to provide me with a list of 3 designs that are similar to what they want and then I get them to annotate them, explaining what they do and don't like. I find this often forces them to really think about their decisions, and makes it a lot easier to give them what they want. Maybe you have a more effective way of doing this?
Are there any methods or processes that you think are better or worse than others?
For example, in a client meeting the other day we had to go over specific colour choices and palettes, it's quite hard to do that without something like photoshop in front of you, which isn't always possible and wasn't then. So I got the client to use the kuler colour wheel, which worked really well: https://kuler.adobe.com/create/color-wheel/ Perhaps you've found a faster way of doing this?
Have you found any useful tools or web services
Some times I need to work remotely and show my work to clients in a collaborative atmosphere where they can give feedback and communicate without having to do everything by email. I've found a pretty good web tool which allows me to do this for free, it's called Conceptly: http://www.concept.ly/ This seems to be more appropriate for lager projects like mobile apps, but it's really handy and quite easy to use!
Don't feel limited to the questions above, contribute in any way you like! But also, is there something that you think would benefit your work flow that you can't find or simply isn't available at the moment that you think would really help you improve your work flow?
Or if you have any other contributions to make, please do so! :D


Staff member
Obviously I'm slightly different to you with my 3d but my process goes something like this....

The first email/call - Go through the usual meet and greet, arrange anything that can be done over the phone/email - it's not always needed to go to the client if you've worked with them before, it can save both of us time, especially as you already have an understanding of the clients 'presentation requirements'.

If there's to be a meeting I usually ask for any files they have before a meeting so that I can review it before I go to them. This isn't always possible but when it is I highlight areas which I may need to have clarified or require extra files from them (say a company logo for example). I also explain the process which I'll go through to them so they know how everything will work.

In relation to my renders I need to know things like materials type, the finish of the material, any sizes of the materials when for example it's a tiled material. I also need to know about the scene they want the items in, do they want people so I normally have a range of images showing how a standard set of objects (different shapes and materials) change with lighting, background, floor etc so that the client can 'point out what they like' I don't normally ask about camera position until I get to a later stage :)

I then go away and do my usual things where I make the model (if needed), set up the scene and materials etc.

I prepare a couple of sample shots at lower res/quality for the client to review and give feedback. I normally repeat this again and get it signed off before a final render. This signing off is there to protect me if they try to come back with 'that's not what I wanted I want it like this for free', I also only give an estimated completion date because unless I've done the render before I just can't give them a fixed time frame for the render.

I then supply the work in required formats for the client to do as they wish with.

As to colour choices, I usually have my nexus 7 with me and that has some apps on it specifically for design, it has apps for things like paper weight/sizes, colour wheels/kulor type, unit conversion etc.

I'm looking at integrating a 'collaboration' (php collab or similar) service into my website at some point but that's for later down the line.