If/When to stop asking a client for clarification and just design

I am an in-house designer for a small tech start-up business. I create all of their advertising materials.

This is an issue I’ve run into many times with my point of contact from whom I get the design requests from.

for example they are asking me to create a backdrop for a trade show booth and they just asked for a “simple” background. After asking for more details they respond just make a “colored background” with our logo. At which I ask do you mean you want a solid colored background or an interesting pattern that will catch peoples attention?

So my question is: is there a time to stop asking questions and just design something to give them options. Because I feel many times I’m not sure if they know what they really want. Or should I just send them what they asked for a solid colored backdrop with their logo?

I also always direct the design requests to this google form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Pnt1RzlYlGl2xPsOz3t3HlxiaDYCxMxZEzhW1v3YLdE/viewform

to make the information gathering process more streamlined. But it seems the longer I’ve been using the form the less motivated my point of contact is to fill it with the most information.

Any tips on how teach the client the importance of information gathering?

Answer

In general, I have 3 questions for a project….

  • What information needs to be displayed?
  • What branding should be used?
  • What’s the demographic being targeted?

Then I may ask a couple aesthetic questions if I’ve never worked with the client before:

  • Can you show me some examples of things you like?
  • What’s your business philosophy?
  • How to do you see your customers?

.. those sorts of things. In reality, I prefer just to have a conversation with them about their business. Find out what they are excited about, their history. A conversation allows me to gain far more insight into the type of company/client they are than a laundry list of questions often will.

Beyond this it’s my job to come up with something they will like. That’s what they pay me for.

Be careful not to get your client too deep into thinking how something should look. You limit yourself that way and often start playing cat and mouse with a project. Once you’ve opened the door to them controlling visual aspects of the project, you have put yourself into the position of being nothing more than a software jockey.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Focused Muffin , Answer Author : Scott

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