My Design Workflows for Working with 7 and 8 Figures Clients

 
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Over the years, I focused on creating a workflow that allows my clients to easily work with me in a fast and efficient way.

Nowadays, agility has become the name of the game in UI/UX design. You'll notice a huge number of tools developed to help you streamline your design workflow and strengthen your collaboration with your team and their stakeholders.

In my 8+ years of experience in the UI/UX design industry, I've noticed an accelerated segmentation including specialization in emerging fields and technologies, the focus on different sections of design such as prototyping or motion design and the sector of product design.

However, my approach focuses on creating a simple workflow which factors in the design process, prototyping and client feedback.

I've put together this brief about my workflow process to help you brush up on your own craft and get you ready to work with the big players.

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Sketch

Sketch is the centre point of my design process. If there's one software I'd always recommend to my fellow UX designers, it's Sketch. I'll give you the skinny on it.

It has a smooth learning curve and its efficient techniques are the nuts & bolts for my entire workflow's success. Although you'll find a couple of alternatives such as Adobe XD or Figma, they don't incorporate all the required features for a great design workflow, yet. It's easy to find your way around Sketch, however mastering it will take time and comes with consistent practice.


Its user-friendly interface lets you use predefined artboards as well as customize your own, allowing you to set the foundation of your designs in record time. All you need to do is hit A to activate the Artboard Panel, and Ctrl+L to toggle the layout guide.

Sketch offers awesome time-saving shortcuts which will give you the chance to focus on creating amazing designs rather than fiddling around with complicated options.It does take a while to learn them, but I can assure it’s totally worth the investment in the long run.

By using the inspector sidebar, you can get pretty mathematical with the app. The feature works excellently to reposition your content, adding sections or removing different pieces. Through Click and drag, you can tailor the content as you please. See what I mean by cutting down on the nitty-gritty?

Symbols are the best elements of Sketch. They're highly effective in moving your project forward from wireframe status to a complete design. Because consistency is the secret ingredient to your design, Sketch provides synchronized updates between its symbols, including colours and fonts, to save you time and energy.

I'm also a huge fan of the nested symbols feature provided by Sketch.


 
 

Once you've designed one section you can integrate it throughout your project without any problem. Because my work also involves high profile and very strict 7 – 8 figure enterprises, I'm always looking for better ways to simplify my design process to allow for quick changes such as adjustments of style and content across a large range of instances and screens. It's all about speed and consistency with these guys, so the faster you can tweak and tune your design to get everything in line with their needs, the better.


It's become a habit for me to spend weekends searching through various online UX design dedicated websites for different valuable Sketch Plugins which can help streamline my design process. With so many high-value Sketch Plugins available, you'll never run out of ideas to improve your designs. A few of the plugins I use the most include Segmented Circles, Find & Replace and Runner. And I'll tell you why.


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I create segmented circles for diagrams and charts through the easy to install Sketch plugin. The Segmented Circles feature allows for various styles of dashed or tickmark circle diagrams and you can adjust the thickness through simple tweaks.


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Sketch also helps you Find & Replace different text content throughout all the screens of your project in selected layers (including everything they comprise of). This plugin comes with useful advanced options which enable various changes of the content's style and format.


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Through the Runner plugin, you can quickly identify the symbols you need by typing in the right name. I can tell you from experience that manually looking through thousands of symbols is a brain killer. Runner really saves you a lot of time and stress.

 
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inVision

Invision is my favorite tool for prototyping for several reasons including the ability to create fast and fully-integrated mockups of my projects. Through Invision you can consolidate all your screens into a beautifully crafted prototype which matches the actual experience of your final product. Invision showcases the flow of your design so you can better identify any pitfalls before communicating it to your clients for review. With Invision you can avoid silly errors and present a great prototype to your clients and close the deal.


Now, the real fun starts with the Craft plugin for Sketch which helps you connect and synchronize both tools in a matter of seconds. It makes it easier to import any updates of your designs into the prototype. One of the most recent updates also allows you to prototype directly in Sketch.

In addition to Craft, Invision also has many other useful options such as the Real-Time To Do Lists tool which allows for comments and notes to your project, or Hover States which not only includes clickable hotspots but also menus, buttons or tooltips, which makes the interaction with the prototype as realistic as it can get.


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The Client Feedback Phase

For client briefing and feedback, I always use Invision, not only because of its Real-Time feature but also because it's very easy to learn how to use. All it takes is a 5-minutes learning session and my clients are on their way to commenting and sending me the required feedback, so I can make the changes they want.

There's no need to create new accounts to enable cross-communication. By simply sending out an invitation link, I can add my clients to the project's platform for real-time commenting and collaboration. It really is a piece of cake.

The most important part of my design workflow is receiving quality feedback from my clients, so I can drive the design process towards meeting or even exceeding their expectations and objectives.

What usually takes tens of back and forth emails attaching various mockups, .jpeg files or pdf's with content descriptions, is cut short through Invision. All you need to do is link your clients to the prototype, they easily offer comments on various elements, you make the changes and the process repeats until you've come to an excellent result.


If you want to land a 7-8 figures client, you really need to give it all you've got and simplify everything, so you don't turn into a pain point.

 
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Trello

Trello is also useful when it comes to communicating on some specific projects where inVision’s workflow won’t fully fit. It's easy to learn and offers a complete overview of all project details. You can appoint different team members to certain tasks and follow-up on completion in real-time.

After trying out about 6 project management tools, I concluded that Trello is the best for my client’s specific needs.

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Scheduling

Any good designer has a fully packed schedule, so organizing and setting time slots is key to a streamlined work week. Whenever I have a call or brief with a client I immediately put a note in Google Calendar with a link to the brief about the key points I want to cover.

The application has various notification settings and visuals to help you keep track of every single detail in your schedule. With so much going on all the time, it's easy to lose track of things. However, with Google Calendar, you just need to type in tasks, set the right notifications and you’ll never miss a deadline.


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Google Suite

Whenever I need to work on a text document, spreadsheet or an occasional presentation, the Google Suite has a special place in my heart ;)

The greatest features are the ability to collaborate on files simultaneously (no matter where your colleagues are located) and being able to send them a shareable link which they can access instantly without the need of creating an account. I also use their Gmail service, which I really enjoy overall. This, however, is just scratching the surface since the Google Suite has a lot of other perks, which would deserve an entire dedicated article, or even an entire book.

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Slack

One of the easiest communication tools out there. I simply love it.

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Loom

This is a brilliant Chrome extension which allows you to record a video of your screen and upload it automatically on their server with a shareable link within minutes. It has been a game changer for me on multiple occasions.

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Audio and Video Calls

For audio and video calls with clients I mostly use Skype and Hangouts, although from time to time I will hop on a call with Zoom, Amazon Chime, WhatsApp or the good old fashioned mobile phone. As long as the connection is good on the other end (I currently have the fastest internet connection option available in my area) any of these tools will work just fine in my experience.


Wrapping It Up

So, I've summarized the main stages of my workflow to showcase how a streamlined structure and detailed organization can increase the value of your designs and improve the overall quality and experience that the client will have with you. Needless to say, this is extremely important.

You can use this brief as a starting point for your own workflow and add your style to the UX design process. Also, feel free to let me know your insights, what tools you recommend and why. I'm always excited to learn about new strategies, apps and approaches.

 
pierluigi giglio