E-Design is a fairly new design concept that is growing fast in the industry. There are websites that cater to online interior design services, while established professionals are adding it to their list of business offers. E-Design is efficient and convenient in its accessibility to clients and designers. It allows designers to connect with clients from all over the world and create a virtual and digital design for their needs. Although it removes a lot of moving parts that a normal design process would entail, it still calls for even more attention to detail and communication due to the distance. So if you're thinking to try e-design, here are 5 tips to get you started.
1. Keep Communication
Communication is key to beginning an e-design project! You have to establish with your client your planned schedule and anticipated completion date of the project. Discussing plans strictly online sometimes information could get misinterpreted or missed completely. So it is vital to constantly check-in with your client and update them on any changes or revisions. And you should ask that they do the same. Having great communication skills goes a long way with any job dealing with customer service. So you have to have that basic understanding first for things to run smoothly.
2. Have Multiple Options
Have multiple options. You always want to be prepared for the next question your client might have. It's good to come up with multiple concept boards for them to look at and choose their favorites of each design. Even once the chosen design begins to move forward, have different lighting options already in place, or art selections, and rug choices ready for if they'd like to see other choices. For the client it may be hard to visualize your concept if it's not right in front of them. It is then your job to make sure your design is versatile yet still compatible to their needs.
3. Save, Save, Save Your Work
This may seem self explanatory and we've all heard it before, but getting in the habit of constantly saving your work is imperative. Especially when you get into working on multiple projects and using different software's on your computer. I sometimes have a habit of leaving 100 tabs open online or never properly closing out of my apps. When dealing with clients online you have to make sure your work is organized, dated, and saved properly. Another helpful tool for saving work is to invest in an external hard drive for even more storage space. This way all of your projects are easy to access, and you don't have to rebuild an entire room from scratch.
4. Reference The Inspiration/Mood Board
Before beginning any new project you should always brainstorm and collect all your ideas first. An inspiration or mood board is necessary to plan out your color schemes or highlight certain furniture selections you see fit for the room. It is a visual representation that establish's a theme, and also serves as a reference point if you get stuck later through the design. Even when working in your office you should tack up some fabric inspiration, pin up some drawn sketches, or put together different metals and tile samples to make the design concept become tangible.
5. Subscribe and Register
Subscribe to your favorite and most resourced home interior brands to know first about exclusive deals and events. This gives you the upper hand when shopping for clients because as a designer, you can have access to information they may not. Register to become a buyer at design centers and trade-shows. This allows you to be in on the latest products in showrooms. Also, establishing relationships with different design professionals can benefit the overall success of your business. You can collaborate with your client now having confidence in your resources and exclusivity to products.
Remember, our job as interior designers is to provide a service and be accessible to your clients. You want to be prepared and be a book of design knowledge for all their needs and questions. Whether designing solely online, or not, these tips benefit all design entrepreneurs. Check out some of these E-design catered websites for more information on becoming an online designer!
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