As a designer, it’s very easy to think that your goal is to please your client. Job done. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Your client is an integral part of the design process, they know more about their own business than you ever will, but it’s important to recognise that they are not the person you should be thinking about when you start the design process.
Your clients’ clients (or customers) are the key to their business. Without them the business would cease to exist. These are the people that your client worries about, these are the people that you need to worry about.
Over the years I’ve heard numerous cases of clients saying things like ‘I really like green’ or ‘I don’t like that font’. The reality of it is, it doesn’t matter what they like or don’t like. You should never let a clients’ personal taste get in the way of what you think and know is right for the project. As designers we are paid to make decisions based on the knowledge we have.
Amends is usually a word that sends a shiver down a designer’s spine. But it shouldn’t be. You and your client are striving for the same goal. So how do you go about letting your client know that you don’t think one of their amends will benefit the project? You back up your opinion with facts and figures, you explain why you don’t think it will aid the project in business terms, you talk about their customers expectations and habits. Clients identify with this, they appreciate your knowledge, rationale and your business sense.
Ultimately, by designing for your clients’ clients, you will find that your projects perform better, and as a result your own clients are happier.