Monday, October 15, 2007

"Disarming" difficult client requests

I just got turned on to this great entry from Ideas on Ideas about dealing with, ahem, challenging client requests.

Among the requests:

  • Can we make the text bigger?

  • I'll know what I like when I see it.

  • My neighbors/wife/cat don't like it.

  • Someone in accounting mocked-up a really neat idea for this.

If you're a designer, you've probably heard these (Lord knows I have); if you've worked with a designer, you've probably SAID these. And I have to say that the author shares some good ideas, especially in responding in a way that looks outside the knee-jerk reaction (really - your accountant? hmm.) and gets to the root of what most of these requests are - an attempt by the client to communicate what you want to your designer when you don't necessarily speak the language.

This is the thing that some designers tend to miss in their haste to be annoyed at the client's comments; oftentimes if you look past the specifics, what they're really saying is that something isn't quite right, and they need your help figuring out what that is and fixing it. Sometimes the only thing you can think of is "I think this should be blue" when what you really mean is "this color doesn't feel right to me; I want something more friendly/steadfast/elegant, etc."

It's a pretty good read, for designers and non-designers alike: check it out here.

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