The time has come. You’ve slaved away at those new sketches or website comps for days, and now its time to put the pencil, pen, or mouse down and share your ideas with the client. How do you translate your excitement and vision to the client in a way that doesn’t put pressure on them to provide instant feedback? Here at Forty, we love creating screencast videos for our clients to achieve this goal.
As a designer, I’ve found that providing a screencast of a new idea to our clients enables me to think clearly through everything I want to express, present it without interruption, and significantly reduce my presentation stress. Screencasting allows me to calmly walk our clients through the research and analysis of the project and lead them through our recommendations. By doing this in a screencast format, the idea comes through as a complete thought process rather than a jumble of nerves and random ideas.
Screencasts have been really well-received by our clients. They’re able to listen to our ideas and absorb the vision without any pressure or demand for an immediate reaction. They’ve told us it’s an easy way for them to digest the information, and it allows them to share the full thought process with other stakeholders in it’s original, unedited form.
I recently heard a story that perfectly parallels why we feel screencasting is such a great medium for our clients. Historically, state fair judges were expected to make their decisions and critiques on-the-spot before the audience. However, the judges recently revised their methods and now make their decisions in private. Now, they can make solid decisions based on thoughtful analysis without influence from the crowds.
Likewise, we shouldn’t look to our clients to provide us with instant, on-the-spot feedback. New ideas can sometimes be a little scary, and therefore, gut reactions aren’t always accurate. As designers, we’ve probably been staring at a project for days, weeks, or even months, and we often forget a client might need the same time to sit and absorb an idea before providing thoughtful feedback.
Removing pressure from all parties helps lower everyone’s defenses and pave the way for better collaboration. This screencasting process has been working really well for us here at Forty, and we highly recommend it for sharing your work. If you are curious about what a screencast might entail, you can view the example below of a visual strategy walk-through that we did for our client, On Good Authority (watch for their new website this fall!).
Now it’s your turn. What methods have you used to present ideas? What has worked, and what hasn’t?