My last post had me talking about the risks and challenges involved in handing off a project to a client. In this post, I am going to discuss about delivering a project(right on time) and presenting it to a wide diapason of multi-level customers, starting from non-technical customers to tech-savvy customers.
Starting off with delivering a project, it is essential to “detail the deliverable”. Like I have described in my previous post, it is essential to describe what is included with the product, while delivering it. Also, it is important to detail the sign-offs and maintenance reports. Delivery of a project should be monitored and controlled, including reviewing the progress and regular assessment of risks, to identify potential problems in a timely manner so that corrective action can be taken, when necessary, to ensure the delivery of the project is on-target. Not just this, but to ensure consistency and see a project through, to completion, it is necessary to take steps to sustain consistency and also ensure that the team doesn’t fall back on deadlines.
After delivering the project right, it is essential that is must be presented right, too. The client might have well loved the design and the product, but he must be explained/trained about the way the product works.
Figure 1: Presenting to tech-savvy clients
The following are to be taken into consideration when presenting a project to a multi-level and a multi-faceted client-audience:
Initial designs must be chalked out with questions in mind. Often, you get to hear questions such as, “Why is this page blank? Why have you used this font-type? Is it supposed to work this way?”, from the clients. A presenter cannot just stare blank-faced at the client, on hearing such questions and if he does, it bubbles up to the initial planning stage. Two important issues need to addressed by the entire team, while presenting the project to the client: first, designs must be functional and not just eye-pleasing, and second, having an answer when a client pops up a question.
Figure 2: Addressing a client’s questions
Next, presenting realistic mockups of the end-product. This is a better way to help the clients understand what the final product will actually be like. Instead of just explaining in words, which might scare a non-technical client, it is best, when things are explained practically, using design mockups.
Thirdly, it is important to describe or elaborate on the design mockups. These explanations need not be long and elaborate, but should convey the essential stuff. As an example for my team’s project, “Christmas in the Park App”, a home screen design can be explained as follows:
Hi ABC, attached is the proposal for the app. Here are some notes:
- We decided to go with a lighter background to help the user focus on the content.
- The background images on the home page and the images for each menu item are a atypical for christmas. Hence the big green tree and ornaments.
- We have used fonts that are both, legible and appealing to the user’s eyes.
- Any other requirement-change can be discussed over and incorporated.
Presentations are much important. As a matter-of-fact, a team’s presentation is the story of their work. It’s an opportunity to get the client standing on his feet, after the handoff process is done. According to 99designs.com, if you spend hours working on a logo project, you can spend an hour making a quality design mockup to impress the client. If you spend a day creating a website proposal, you can spare 10 minutes to write an explanation of your design decisions.
 Egeland, B.,Do They Really Know What They Need?, Posted in http://news.dice.com/2013/11/12/do-they-really-know-what-they-need-203/ Nov 12, 2013.
 Ulrich, K.T., Eppinger,S.D., Goyal. A., Product design and development, 3rd Ed., McGraw-Hill, 2011