Design Projects: The Exit Interview

web designers at a deskWhen a new website is completed and launched, there is a great sense of relief and jubilation from my design firm. All the extra work we put into a project feels like it was so worth it.  Almost like we could have done it for free had we been given the chance. Hearing how the client or group is so excited and hearing their praises gives us some great confidence and feedback that we met or exceeded their expectations. However the project actually isn’t completed at that point. I pull together all the staff members who were involved with the project for an exit interview.

In Corporate America when someone is let go from a job or moving to a new department, the sitting manager or HR representative will host a meeting with the employee that is moving to get their honest opinion on their soon to be previous role. Their asked to be candid and explain how they felt about their manager, job function, duties, achievements, and of course moral. The end of a design I feel should be the same in some aspects.

Some things to consider or talk about with your team or reflect on yourself would be:

Content: Was there enough content provided from the beginning? How much copy needed to be edited or rewritten? Did the client provide enough? Was I delivered or provided to us on time or when asked?

Budget: Was the client charged adequately for every deliverable we were tasked with. Did we find any areas in the project that could have been handled a different way that would have given us more services we could have offered? Does it seem like the client would have paid more for the same level of service?

Timeline: Did we beat our deadline? We’re we late and why? What were some factors that contributed to our timeline. How can we avoid any setbacks on our end or the clients going forward. We’re they’re new requests submitted that effected the timeline that was not accounted for?

Teamwork: Overall how did everyone work together? Did anyone feel like they didn’t get their opinions expressed or considered enough? Did everyone pull their weight? Did everyone feel they were given all they needed to complete their tasks? Was the communication across the team well enough or does it need improvement? What was the best medium for communication?

Customer Experience: Did the customer play a big enough role in the project. Were there enough options provided yet not too much to hinder a confident choice? Did all the team members have a chance to meet and/or talk to the client? We’re all of our responses timely? Did email communications go well, or could more phone calls iron out misunderstandings?

After reading through these I’m sure you may have wondered or even asked some of these questions to yourself after completing a project. It may seem a bit time-consuming but I promise you it’s worth the effort. It will help you avoid mistakes in your future projects while providing some self-examination to your firm and tactics. If you have some other points to add please do so in the comments below. As always we love hearing your opinions and contrary thoughts.

(Image credit: auremar / 123RF Stock Photo)

1 reply
  1. Andrea Beltrami
    Andrea Beltrami says:

    Great read! You’re right, it’s so important to get everyone’s feedback at the end of the process as each individual, whether client of designer, has had their own unique experience through the process. Just my two cents…. 😉

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