We all know the problem when our beautiful and refined design catches up like a wild animal client. Then typically experiencing a series of attacks after statements like: "Please enlarge the logo", "Change the red on blue", "Add another news" and "But for me it looks like something else." This is the moment in which either arise in us murderous instincts, or ... turn yourself into mindless zombies, which is only a mouse in the hands of the customer who applied any changes, without any objection.
Do you really have to be every time? Do we always have to be brought to the brink of insanity? Well, no! Paradoxically, the best way for me to avoid this, it is ... more customer involvement in the design!
90% of people who have collaborated with the client during the web design has the same experience - when you enter a customer begins the drama. Therefore, a natural way to avoid this seems to "minimize" its participation in the process, so as to have as little as possible opportunities for their adds "minor amendments". The result is, however, sometimes quite odwrotny- when they come already fixes from the client, it is their so much that they often subvert everything upside down, and for that they are not consistent and generally turn the project into a nightmare.
Have you ever wondered why this happens? The main issue is the limitation of opportunities to participate in the whole process. By this, when we have the opportunity to speak to the customer, then he wants to do it fully as possible, to show their commitment, and that he wants to have an impact on the final look of the website. We often do not understand what the implications carry inputted by the changes and the impact they have on the whole project.
Why is this happening? The answer is because the prostate on the whole simply can not see. Not because it does not exist, but because it analyzes each element of the project separately, to be able exactly to say about it. He wants to show how much work and how much impact it has on the project. He wants to emphasize its role in this very important event for him, so with myself feel better. Above all, he is not a specialist in web design and some things just do not understand. He does not understand the relationship between the elements and their influence on how users navigate the website.
While this sounds really scary, it is really effective method to save a lot of time (and thus money), as well as nerves.
Working with him in the design, you will achieve two things: give your client a sense of control he needs, and enter it in the basic ins and outs of the design. Show how this process and that they are not thrown loosely ideas, but a well-thought-out concept. With this education, he looks at the project as a complete solution, not a collection of unrelated things. Understand how the individual components are linked and why the item looks like, and not otherwise.
If you engage the customer in the design process, not only You shall make it a lot better understand what you're doing for him, but you awaken in him a sense of attachment to the project. It is no longer "a proposal sent by the graphics", but "our project" - which will make it stared at him differently. But it is also his work.
Very often appear then really valuable ideas and comments from the customer who does not focus on the longer popsuciu graphics website, but on what is really important. Most importantly, however - so your job will be much easier and more enjoyable;)
In an ideal world, cooperation with the client during the design would look like that all the time the project sit with him at his desk, discussing various solutions, ideas, etc. In reality, however, usually comes down to the question "Which side of the Lord / Lady like?" . Let us, however, find a happy medium between the two solutions.
The most important step is to organize a project meeting, which will all be involved in his person. This meeting should be as loose form that will allow you to learn as much about your client.
Ask questions about the company and demonstrated by the actual interest. When you are able to show that you really care about gaining a broad knowledge of the company, whose side have to do is get too his client. Every man loves to tell if anyone was listening. Show then as the best student in the world. Ask additional questions and dive into knowledge. This will tell you things that will be crucial when designing the structure and functionality of the website, and show that you care.
Then present a general idea of the website. This can really be a very general concept, but it is important that you do not presented it for granted, but as a vision. Suggest a different functionality that can be used. The key here is that you refer them to the client's story, and explain why you can apply these or other solution, and what it will bring results.
Ask if they have any ideas on the site and if you find something that is, but the shadow of a sense, it's expand this thought. Discuss it with the customer - let up in this engagement.
Remember that this meeting is not aimed at you to have established 100% functionality and used all the ideas. Thanks to this meeting, you have to determine the overall concept and most importantly engage your customer and show him your reasoning.
Such meetings should take place 2-3 times during the project, with the difference that the next will be focused on the already discussing specifics. But remember to always listen and engage the client in the decision making process.
Thanks to your next project might look completely different than all the previous - without the stress and struggle with the client, and for the atmosphere of a joint agreement.
Tomasz Szwed - UX Designer and CEO at 2sides
For over 10 years I analise customers needs and propose best solutions. Next I watch over whole process of designing websites - from first prototypes to working website.
Personally I'm a big fan of board games.
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