Working through Design Hesitation

Working through Design Hesitation | Lemon and the Sea: When you just aren't feeling your design, but you don't know how to move forward.

This is something I see all the time - a client is excited to get started on a project, but freezes in making decisions because they are afraid to commit to something so big.

Two Types of Hesitation

There are two types of design hesitation and both can be resolved, but you have to know which you're dealing with.

You Can't Make Up Your Mind

This type of hesitation occurs when you have some great options that you're really digging, but you can't seem to decide which way to go. Maybe it's too different logo options that both fit your vision or three blog templates that all look great. It can be tough sometimes to decide, but this is a good type of hesitation because you already know that the right option is in front of you.

When you're going through this, I don't suggest turning to Facebook to help you vote, as I've seen quite a few times, but there are some ways to help you make a final call.

  • Sit with it for a few days. I recently had a client who loved two different logo designs so much that she couldn't decide which to choose. She asked for a few days to get back to me and then sat with the options. She would look at them every once in a while, think about them, and then go do something else. This really helped her because she didn't feel like she was forced into a decision - she got to make up her mind on her own time.
  • Ask your audience. While I don't suggest asking a jam-packed Facebook group to weigh in on your decision, it can help to ask your target audience what they think. Try sending out the options in your newsletter and have your readers vote (with the approval of your designer). That way, you know that the people who gave you a response actually know your brand.
  • Go back to your business values. If you don't want to put the decision to your audience, go back to your business values and see what design choice best matches where you want your business to go.

Even with great options, it's important to take your time to work through your hesitation because you want to stick with the design you choose for a long time.

You Don't Feel Right

This is a more difficult type of hesitation to deal with because it can be hard to give a voice. There are times when a design simply doesn't feel right - no concrete reason, just something in your gut. As a designer, I know that reaction and I respect it. If you look at a design and think that it should be perfect, but you know that it isn't, don't back away from that feeling.

Let your designer know that you're feeling that way and they can help you express it and move into something better. If you're designing on your own, don't be afraid to lean into the hesitation and take time to sit with it quietly. As you take time to get into that uncomfortable space, you may find that the design doesn't fit the feeling you want your brand to have and can take that and move in a different direction.

And if you're afraid to get started?

I get it. Starting a design can be scary. It's a lot of decisions and a lot may ride on it - your business, your livelihood, your client base. My best advice? Just start.

Just start playing around with ideas. Create a Pinterest board of images that inspire you. Try out new color schemes. Play around in Canva. You aren't committing to anything yet, so just have fun.