To build up a good, healthy relationship, communication is a must and a good communication needs mutual understanding. Design, particularly, requires more communication because the process involves transformations of concepts, thoughts and ideas which need further elaboration. To start with, designers need to have conversations with the clients.
Knowing what the clients want and what problem they want to solve is essential. Listen, study and ask questions. Of course, designers have to pay attention to the clients’ needs. However, listening carefully is not always enough. The market and development of certain fields could be unfamiliar to designers. The clients, on the other hand, possess more professional knowledge and experiences related to these fields. Therefore, asides from doing research on their own, designers can acquire these information by discussing with clients.
Designers should feel free to ask questions once they know to ask the right question which means they have to do some homework in advance. Potential problems will be discovered and be considered more thoroughly through this process. Occasionally, clients do not make their ideas and demands clear and concrete enough. Asking questions can not only help clients clarify their thoughts but also help designers deduce clients’ possible intentions.
Some clients had come up with some ideas on their own while some only provide simple concepts. During the process, designers have to constantly check their direction with their clients to make sure they are on the right track, but not just follow the order. Clients and designers will both impact on the design by combining opinions from both sides. They might go through persuasion, negotiation, concession and eventually meet consensus. Designers are consultants and advices giver who provides strategies for clients’ reference while clients can point out designers’ blind sides from sales’ perspective.
Communication can be exhausting, time consuming and irritated while designers and clients are not on the same page. Repetition, misunderstanding, redundant, etc. are not only frustrating but sometimes harmful to designing. So, communication skills are also a requirement for designer to design efficiently and properly. In a nutshell, the communication of designers and clients is to achieve the ultimate goal: a good design that can be made into good products.
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