Design is a collaborative discipline. You may find yourself working with managers, clients, collaborators, developers, and many others. And very often you will need to share your designs, either completed or in-progress, for their review, critique, usage, or other purposes.
It's incredibly important to make sure that the files you send are easy to use and easy to understand. You don't want the people working with you to become frustrated or confused; that's a recipe for disaster. Here are a few tips for how to make sure you make your files a pleasure to view:
- Remember when you are talking to non-designers or non-technical people to communicate in ways they will understand
- Think about design when preparing documentation or other shared artifacts. You are a designer, so everything you make should look great.
- All the rules of interface and user experience apply to anything you put in front of clients
- Name files in a way that anyone can understand
- Make sure file sizes are small and load quickly. If sending a PDF file, you can use Adobe Acrobat's *reduce file size* feature.
- Don't zip or compress the files unless the files are very large or you must send quite a few different files together. Doing so requires an extra step of the user to view them.
Mockups and other static artifacts
- If sending a single-page file, PNG or JPG are good formats. For multi-page files, use PDF.
- Don't send a million individual files; a multi-page PDF is better
- Don't send multiple kinds of artifacts (like multiple responsive scales or multiple platforms) in a single PDF. It can be disorienting. Instead send one multi-page PDF with wireframes, another multi-page PDF with mockups, et cetera.
- Make sure mockup pages are in the order that end users would experience the screens, homepage first
- Make sure pages are rotated so that the images appear upright
- Make sure to show versions of screens with major interactions open and versions with them closed
- Mockups don't need to include every screen made for a prototype. Only send what is relevant in that format
- When sending prototypes, send a link to the prototype itself, not to the design file
- Make sure prototypes begin on the home screen (or whatever screen should be seen first)
- If possible, make sure prototypes are already set for best zoom level