Recently I’ve been finding myself taking a slightly different role with my projects and I’m really enjoying it.
More and more I’m finding that I’m doing less actual design work and turning into what I guess you would call a digital consultant (it’s a horrible term I know, I’m sure there’s a better one out there). It’s been a strange transition and it’s not even one that I really noticed happening. I’ve always been ready and willing to offer my advice to clients, even if that goes totally against what they tasked me with creating in the first place. Ultimately I want my clients to be successful and because of that I try and get to the heart of their problem.
What’s the problem?
All clients are looking for a solution to a problem – that problem could be a low conversation rate on their e-commerce site, a poor external perception of their brand or even lack of visibility on search engines. This problem is often wrapped up in the clients own form of solution – “I need a new e-commerce site” for example. It may well be that the client doesn’t need a new e-commerce site at all, what they need are more sales or a higher conversion rate or more repeat transactions. A new website isn’t necessarily the right answer to this problem. In some cases this will mean that you’re actually taking paying work away from yourself – you might simply suggest and implement new calls to action which isn’t going to pay you anywhere near the same as designing and building a new e-commerce site. In the short term you will lose money. What you lose in short term money though, you will gain in trust. You solved the client’s problem and you saved them money at the same time, there’s no doubt that client will come back to you next time they have a problem that needs solving.
This approach adds a new level of value to me and one that seems like a natural progression. As much as I like designing things, I also like solving problems. It’s a really great feeling to help someone out. To combine the two seems like the ideal role, solving problems and designing/creating.