How to use Inputs to make your life easier
Bek Agius — 24th September 2018
If you're a designer, your dream is to spend your days creating beautiful, functional material to deliver results for your organisation, yet somehow your reality is much more revision-centric.
As a designer in a centralised team, there is no shortage of repetitive design requests. Your stakeholders tell you they'd like creative freedom and they frequently try to sell you on the idea that it'll make your life easier and their jobs more efficient if they could only have access to the design files - but you're a good designer, so you know better.
What they didn't know they needed
The missing piece in this predicament is a way for you as a Designer to create the overarching structure and aesthetic of the collateral (the fun stuff) and set some ground rules for what they can and can't edit (the necessary stuff). On the flip side, the client just wants to be given the opportunity to express their creativity in a controlled environment and, most importantly, get the material into market fast.
Enter the star of the Outfit show - the humble input.
What are inputs?
Inputs are a simple way of allowing your clients to enter data or customise information within a document, in a way that ensures brand guidelines are adhered to. There are a range of different types of inputs that allow the editor of a document to make changes within Outfit in different ways.
These inputs might be preset and be available for the user to select the right option or the inputs might allow them to enter the right, customised information.
Who decides which inputs go where?
When a document gets added into Outfit as a template, we think about every element of the document with your brand style guide in mind. Wearing this 'brand hat' allows us to work with your design and marketing team to pull apart every line of text, colour, theme, image and data point and think about the simplest way for your internal stakeholder to customise each document as efficiently as possibly.
How can I keep track of these changes?
The great thing about managing the customisation of documents with inputs in this way, is that we have complete transparency over every edit. This transparency is also very well communicated in our Approval Process for an extra sense check of changes made to documents.
At the end of the day, the point of the Outfit experience is to give the ownership back to those on the front line of your organisation for the speed by which the customer receives communication. This leaves so much more room for what you signed up for - true and meaningful creative work.