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Using mocks in projects

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Having a mock design can make it much easier to plan content and other elements of a project

Getting a designer to prepare a visual mock early in a communications project will cost money of course, but it can often be well worth the expense. I am lucky in working with a  designer who quickly grasps my intentions so can produce lovely mocks relatively easily. The mocks then form a basis for developing the main project, which often does not even involve my designer. From recent projects, having a mock prepared early in the process has meant:

  • you can put various ideas in one place so details aren’t forgotten or overlooked
  • everyone involved can see what is being discussed. Otherwise, everyone assumes they are imagining the same thing but could actually have some very different ideas of what is being developed.
  • when giving the brief to a supplier, it is easy to ensure they understand how the final version should look and to specify key details. This obviously doesn’t apply to a design-based project but is very helpful for software or construction projects
  • for non-designer suppliers, you can get a much better result if you show them what it is to look like – they can copy the design and save time
  • you can be working on the content and other refinements while the underlying structure is being developed. For example, while the technical people are building the software, I can be working on the content of the user screens as I know where text will go (e.g. a heading and two short sections or one long section)

Before you start a new project and rely on written descriptions and your own rough sketches, think about the potential value of having a mock designed for your planning and briefing processes. Are you a visual person? If so, having a mock to work from is probably much easier for you. If you’re not quite so visual, don’t underestimate how powerful a visual can be for many people and how it can aid communication. Can you remember times when a mock made a project flow better than expected?


* Images courtesy of 123RF
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