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.
The dictionary defined an edit as “a change or correction made as a result of editing”. But what does it mean for you and your designer/developer? Changes are very common during the entire process of developing a product, business, or a brand. Changes are needed for many reasons ranging from discovered issues to a simple oversight. 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.
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
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 most effectively. Letting them work in their best way means they will be more creative and give you better results. I’ve known a few designers that could work with clients like this, however most don’t do well with this. More about what you should avoid with your designer here.
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. I like to send a digital presentation or drawing set for our clients to review. This allows them to red-line it and send it back to review their edits if needed. Having edits in writing protects you as the client. If an edit is missed, you can catch it and make sure your developer completes the edit before moving on. It also gives you a reference to make sure you have talked with them about everything you wanted to when going over an edit.
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.
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. It’s like making course adjustments instead of waiting till you already missed the destination. Every time you review and make changes, think of it as an opportunity. You will be able to find flaws in the design and prevent future issues from arising before they become a real problem. This saves time and costs in the long run. Edits are a tool, use them as such.
And if you are looking for the definition of edit, you can see that here.