What Does a Consultation Look Like?

Here at DesignLab we believe that design is collaborative. Whether that means working as a team to accomplish mutual goals or working on an individual project and soliciting feedback from others, designing should always include more than just an individual.

A consultation in DesignLab is an in-person discussion, typically one-on-one or in small groups.

Below are two of the most common types of consultations we see in DesignLab:

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Brainstorming Content (i.e., First Steps)

These consultations usually happen early on in a project. Questions about brainstorming content often include:

  • I don’t know where to start. Can you give me assistance?
  • What sort of software should I be using to make this?
  • What should I include in my project?
  • How should I organize my ideas?
  • How do I narrow down my focus?
  • How do I avoid common mistakes before it is too late?

A Second Set of Eyes (i.e., Later Steps)

These consultations usually happen in the middle of the project or near the end. Questions in these consultations often include:

  • How does the layout look?
  • Does this layout/form/content make sense?
  • Have I chosen good colors? Fonts?
  • Is the size ok?
  • What suggestions do you have for improvement?
  • Video, in particular:
    • Should I add more B-roll?
    • Is the framing ok?
    • Is the white balance good?
  • Audio and Video:
    • Are the sound levels good?
    • Is the audio clear/clean?
    • Are the transitions smooth?
  • Web and Infographics:
    • Is the content easily navigable?

Whenever we do consultations, we will also help with:

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Accessibility Related Issues or Concerns

We can talk you through accessibility related issues surrounding visual and hearing impairments, as well as color-blindness. We will provide some recommendations, but we often refer patrons to the McBurney Center for complex questions about accessibility. Questions about accessibility include:

  • Do I need to make this accessible?
  • Is the contrast appropriate for color-blindness? For visual impairments?
  • How do I add closed-captioning to my video?
  • How do I make my PDF / Website / PowerPoint accessible for screen readers?
  • How do I make a transcript for my audio project?

Issues of Copyright

While we do not provide legal advice, we can give you context on fair use policies and recommend how to avoid digital copyright concerns. We can also refer you to the UW-Libraries Scholarly Communication Office for more details. Questions about digital copyright often include:

  • How do I cite this?
  • Can I use [ X ]?
  • Is this transformative enough to be considered fair use?
  • Where can I find free b-roll or stock video? Music? Images? Fonts?
  • What are the policies for YouTube video uploads?

Specific Technical Questions

While we can help with some technical questions, often we will refer these types of questions to our partners at Software Training for Students, who have advanced knowledge in a variety of different software programs. Questions of this nature are along the lines of:

  • How do I do [ X ] in this software?
  • Is it possible to do [ X ] using this software?
  • This software is not doing what I want/need. Can you help?
A DesignLab consultation in action