Most design schools focus so much on process, skill sets and tools and so little on mentoring designers about managing their client or even working with an internal development team. Watching these young designers during their first few years engaging with clients and starting to manage projects makes me squirm when I see them make classic mistakes.
Here’s some FREE ADVICE for young designers to help you avoid some classic mistakes in developing strong working relationships whether you are a designer within a corporation or as a consultant dealing with your clients.
Each project usually starts with a defined product scope…keep revisiting these goals throughout the project. It’s not unusual in most projects to start out with one goal or vision in mind and shift towards something totally new by the time the project is completed.
Every project needs a starting point, but as the project evolves work diligently to test, challenge and spar with your client to make sure there is alignment about where you are heading. Don’t forget that there will be changes along the way that cause you to change course and force you to revisit the goals and vision of the project. Remind your client what you set out to solve. If the goal or vision feels like it is changing, it probably is. Take time to redefine it and then move forward. Be flexible….and get used to it!