5 Things to Remember When Going Through Edits

22 Dec 2017 Mr. Peterman Brand, Business, Product

So, you’ve got your initial design done, and now you want some changes made. What’s the best way to go about that? Did you discuss revisions and edits with your designer before you started? There is a lot to consider with edits, and defining what an edit is can be a difficult thing, especially when not clearly defined and both sides have a different idea of what an edit is. This list should help clear things up a bit, and help you when you are discussing edits with your product developer.

  1. What is an Edit? – An edit is defined as “a change or correction made as a result of editing” according to the dictionary. But what does it mean for you and your designer/developer? Once an initial design is created, it’s very common to need to make changes to the design to make sure every need has been met, to adjust for discovered issues, and that project scope (more here) has been correctly followed. At the Peterman Design Firm, we define an edit as a request from our client to make a change or adjustment to a current design.
  2. When Should You Edit? – At each review point. A good project plan has review points where the developer meets with you, the client, to review the project. These points are usually defined by the developer, but if there is a specific point where you want to review, then you need to make sure your designer or developer knows this, and can plan around your requirement. These should be specified in your Timeline and your Project Scope
  3. Avoid Over-The-Shoulder Editing. – The over-the-shoulder editing is something you should stay away from at all costs. It slows your developer down, costs more money, and does not allow your developer or designer to work in their space, which is where they are able to come up with the best ideas. I’ve known a few designers that could work with clients like this, however most loath it completely, and will sometimes even refuse to work with anyone who is like this. More about what you should avoid with your designer here.
  4. How Should You Edit? – It really depends on the developer, and both of your styles of communication which works best. For your own protection, and to make sure no edits are ever missed, red-lining drawings or presentations is the clearest and most effective method. It’s why engineering teams use red-lining exclusively when editing designs. Here we like to send a digital presentation or drawing set for our clients to review, red-line, then send it back and have a phone conversation to go over the edits if needed. Having edits in writing protects you as the client, because if an edit is missed, you can call it out and make sure your developer completes the edit before moving on, and it also gives you a reference to make sure you have talked with them about everything you wanted to when going over an edit.
  5. Edits are Almost Always Needed. – In my entire career of developing products over 15 years now, I’ve had two designs go to prototype without needing an edit. I’ve worked with hundreds of companies, and designed and developed thousands of individual parts. Edits and revisions are a part of the process, and the product development process is what takes your idea and turns it into a fully manufacturable production ready product.

Use edits to your advantage, they are like reset buttons. Each time you go through a review, it gives you the opportunity to adjust your products course and make sure it hits the mark. Think of it as getting to shoot an arrow, only if you notice half-way through the arrow going to the target that it won’t be a bulls-eye. Then you make an edit, and now it’s aimed closer to the center. Every time you review, you get the opportunity to find flaws in the design, and prevent future issues from arising before they become a real problem, such as going to manufacturing with a feature flaw you could have noticed early in the project. Edits are a tool, use them as such.