By: Erik Rodne, HenkinSchultz
Who has ﬁnal say, is it the client or the designer—your boss, or are you the boss (or is it Bruce Springsteen)? As designers toil over the intricate details of type and image, color and layout, the client has a picture in their mind too. You both want awesome, but perhaps different versions of awesome. So how do we best articulate awesome?
Lets try designing with the client, not for or against the client. Don’t pander to the decision maker, and certainly don’t be afraid to disagree and stick up for an idea you believe in, just go through that process with respect and be open to different perspectives. Let the client in on the creative process, brainstorm together and get excited about the directions you can take early on. Step down from your high and mighty design tower where you’re always right, and those two fonts look terrible together. Trust the client to know their business and you’d be surprised to garner their trust in return.
Second, let’s get objective. Pushing past the subjective gut checks and emotional responses we’re free to talk about why a certain approach works. Follow the “why” train all the way to the root of the issue (or the C: drive if you’re on Windows… bad linux joke). Maybe we know the customer, maybe we know the brand, maybe we know contemporary design. Since so much of our decision making process is based on the information at hand, clear communica-
tion is paramount to the success of any project (designed or not).
Design thinking is really applied arts and engineering. It’s understanding the core of a problem to best create a solution. Design can be visual, it can be experiential; Design can be used to rock product, but ultimately it’s the unique craft of thinking differently, creating something new and breathing life into it. Most often design is used to communicate complex ideas more clearly. And it’s the creative thinking and execution of these ideas in different and exciting ways that draws interest and intrigue. When being the same ﬂ avor of vanilla as everyone else isn’t working anymore, the tendency is to poke your head out of the sand and really do something different.