Throwing out the old design request process

Bek Agius — 21st November 2018

If you have ever worked in a marketing or design role in any capacity, you will no doubt be familiar with some type of stakeholder design request process. It may be automated or it may be a (lengthy) series of calls and emails. Whatever your experience, we can all agree that the design request process, while necessary, can be frustrating and time-consuming for all involved. 

Whether you're a Coordinator, Marketing Manager, agency jack-of-all-trades or in-house graphic designer and master of your domain, you know what I'm talking about. Stakeholders require new material all the time. They are frequently time-poor, impatient, oblivious to the effort required to design a new piece of collateral (rightly so) and often don't know what's required for an artwork brief. 

If you've managed to be sheltered from all of the above, allow me to present you with a day in the life of a designer who deals with new design requests. 

A standard design request process:

  1. Stakeholder mentions to a Manager that a new piece of collateral is required
  2. The Manager pushes this request to the Marketing Department
  3. Marketing issue a briefing form (or some type of criteria) to the requesting Stakeholder
  4. Stakeholder fills the form out and returns to Marketing
    1. Stakeholder will no doubt forget some integral information in their first submission, so the Designer assigned to this job may send this back and forth a couple of times to ensure all the necessary information is provided
  5. Concept Design Window - The Designer takes some time to concept and design the 1st draft of collateral and sends to the requesting Stakeholder
  6. Stakeholder responds to this with feedback / changes
  7. Designer implements this feedback and resends the updated artwork 
    1. Repeat steps 6 & 7 a minimum of twice more until the Stakeholder is happy (i.e. letterhead_FINAL_V12)
  8. Final artwork is produced and distributed to the Stakeholder's entire team by their Manager
  9. Multiple stakeholders now engage Marketing as they each have their own refinements 
  10. Multiple Designers (depending on availability) will implement these changes (Steps 9 and 10 will repeat roughly until the end of time).

Feel like you aged a little reading through the above? We don't blame you. 

Now we'd like to float the idea of throwing out the old design request process and replacing it with a new, slightly more efficient process with Outfit. 

Shiny new design request process [with Outfit]:

  1. Create a suite of on-brand templates with variations to reflect some alternating layouts, file types and on-brand colours
  2. Invite your stakeholders into Outfit and give them access to the templates
  3. That's it. We literally only added Step 3 to fill space. 

We're not missing any steps - Outfit allows stakeholders to make their own changes to documents in real time, but they're playing by your rules. 

The great thing about the new design request process through Outfit is that, as your stakeholders start to push the boundaries of the templates, we can help you collate their feedback and you'll start to seamlessly evolve your designs over time from real data based on how real people are actually using the documents every day!

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