Client-Designer Teamwork For Better Resultswritten by Maneet Puri
“TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More”
This statement is very much applicable for a client-web designer relationship too! Teamwork is an integral element when it comes to successful project management. However, we have a surprise factor here; it is not only essential within the management but outside too. Take for instance the synchronization between a web designer and a client, which can produce fruitful results if carried on successfully throughout the project.
Coordination or teamwork, which I wish to stress on, is much more than just asking specifications concerning any project. By reading this article, you will be very much clear about the significance of Client-Designer coordination and the ways to carry out a healthy communication process.
Need For Client-Designer Interaction!
Not all the clients we deal with are expert in Web designing as it might not be their area of expertise. Brief amount of decision-making takes place even prior to the client-designer interaction; this includes decision about theme, functionality and even budget. However, it is not necessary that the decisions prove to be effective on a long run, which makes client-designer interaction necessary for defining the scope-of-work. Even if you were having a well-informed client, I would still advise a designer to sit beside him to get all the necessary background information!
This background information will not only help you with the designing task but will also assist you in assessing the taste and preferences of a client.
Besides that, interactions do become fun when it is about some of the exciting website parts like identity, white space, color pantones, key messages and grids. No matter how casual or jolly they may seem, they have a sub-conscious feeling of failure deep inside, which as a web designer you need to tackle.
Steps To A Strong Client-Designer Relationship
The first thing that your client needs is empathy and not sympathy. Empathy is like understanding the situation of the client from the perspective of a client himself or viewing the situation from the perspective of a client. In this way, you would be able to bond with the client in a much better manner, as you already understand his feelings and situations. Empathizing with the client and acting accordingly is the first step towards strong client-designer coordination.
Make sure you listen to the client’s requirements every now and then because designer’s ignorant attitude often adds up to the growing frustration. You cannot blame the client afterwards, if you are not able to deliver what is expected from you in the first place.
Designers Are Not Architect
What we have today is more of an interview in which a designer asks for specifications and he is off! This may work well with an architect but as a designer, you need to understand the taste and expectations of your client concerning the specifications. This is why you need to sit down like ‘gentlemen’ for a face-to-face conversation to make things clear.
The importance of open communication between a client and a designer should be well understood by both the parties as every project has its own guidelines, briefs and goals. In order to draw a clear picture at the planning stage itself, the client and the designer should have a top-level mutual understanding.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Communication and an honest communication are entirely different aspects of client interaction. The primary ingredient of a successful website is honest communication between a designer and the client. As a designer, one should encourage his client to be straightforward about likes, dislikes of a particular functionality or the design; as it helps the process to advance in the right direction, and saves a lot of time too (It is better to be straightforward rather than being manipulative). Reaching at the final stage of the project after all the amendments as per client’s feedback assures timely completion minus last minute jitters (changes).
Meanwhile, it is necessary that things go other way round too, as being a designer with enough experience, it becomes your professional obligation to offer your personal opinion on client’s project specifications. Some clients do appreciate your genuine effort of taking the first step and suggesting something better than their desires. In addition, this is another important step towards a strong client-designer relation!
Attentiveness and Mutual respect are the pillars of a strong client-designer relation, ofcourse these two are the ingredients of professionalism too. Communication between a designer and a client should be carried out in a professional manner; regardless of the fact, whether it is via e-mail, face-to-face chat or even telephone. Communication barriers arise when professionalism is replaced by ëego’ in the process and it is not in favor of the design process either.
Collaboration Is The Key
The web design process should be a collaborative one; that is instead of a designer making all the recommendations, ask the client for any information about the company, industry or even demographics. This kind of two-way collaboration between the designer and the client will assist the designer in articulating the same information into an effective web design.
It may not be necessary that a client is well versed with all the technical know-how’s and jargons, which is why citing examples will assist the client in getting things easily. For instance, if you wish to explain the technical details of any project let’s say ‘functionality’, then you may cite examples of websites with the same functionalities. Citing examples assists in presenting a clearer picture.
As you can feel after going through the above compilation, a budding client-designer relationship can be considered as a foundation to a perfect website design. Go on and share the knowledge!
Maneet Puri, who is the Managing Director of Lexolution IT Services, an indian web design company; is also an experienced web consultant offering valuable guidance and advice to his clients located all round the globe. Attention to minute management details has been one of the primary reasons behind Maneet's evergreen accomplishments. Apart from all this, Maneet is also an enthusiastic writer, who communicates with his audience through articles and blogs on upcoming technologies and web design concepts.