I have an adoration for many different types of design; from print to interior to interactive. I have been designing so long I can’t look at something without thinking about it’s aesthetic qualities. I can’t look at an object without critiquing it in some fashion. I’ll wonder why the designer made the decisions they made and how I would have done it differently. In all mediums of design the process is essentially the same, there is a problem to be solved and the designer or engineer uses their skills to solve that problem. The most successful designs go through this process many times, small problem by small problem, until finally there is an end result. This is what makes design feel like such an accomplishment, the ability to help clients solve real business problems.
For With Clients
In my last eight years of being a designer I have had the opportunity to work with many different clients. Some clients will always be easier to work with than others, but for the most part I’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to client relationships. The clients I love working with most are ones that are very interested and very eager to be a part of the process. Even from the most minuet details of a requirements workbook, clients who are excited about the entire process are the most enjoyable to work with. This is because the more involved a client is the more constructive feedback I can get. This translates into helping me fully understand who their company is and what their initial goals are. When they are open and willing to go through this process with me the design is always more successful.
You can help get your clients motivated by following these simple strategies:
1. Show them some really great designs that you think are successful right from the beginning. Odds are if they see something visual right from the start they will be more inclined to want to see visuals throughout the design phase.
2. If you find yourself in a design meeting and your client really isn’t communicating with you; start talking about how they want their customers to feel when they are in their office. That emotional attachment will get them talking about their company, and get you thinking about what the design should feel like.
3. When designing for the web one of the most important things is making sure the site functions how it’s supposed to. This means creating a long functional requirements document that isn’t fun to look at. If your clients aren’t looking at this and giving you the approvals you need, do some really quick sketches to add into the document. This will interrupt the content and hopefully not make them feel as overwhelmed.
Design is a huge part of my life, either in my everyday work with clients or creating work for family and friends. No matter who the work is for, design always serves a purpose and always has a problem to solve. The important part is to stay focused and keep your clients involved and interested through-out the process.