- Defining the problem and setting early goals
- Understanding your client's organization and expertise level
- Establishing your research questions
- Inviting the right players
- Leading a workshop
- Identifying trends, patterns, and outliers
- Creating documentation that explains your design research
Skill Level Beginner
- [Andy] Hi, I'm Andy Schwanbeck. I'm a graphic designer and educator, and an all around champion for how design services of any kind can help solve all sorts of different problems. Thanks for checking out this course. We're gonna talk about how you can enhance your relationship with your client by including the client as an active participant, one who has a lot of insider knowledge to share with you, and also how you can get early buy-in through this process. And I wanna share this with you because I've seen first hand how valuable it can be.
A few years back, I was working on a branding project with a local charter school, and as the design team got into the project, we naturally started looking at all the school's branding material that we could get our hands on, and wow, it was all over the place. It felt like 20 different people, each with their own vision on how to write and talk about the school all had their hands in this, and it was kind of daunting to process. And in the past, if I were tackling this project on my own, this is just the kind of thing that would've set me into a panic. But luckily, the firm that I was working with was quite comfortable dealing with this kind of complexity, so rather than us try to work through all of that messaging to dig into what we thought they should say, we invited the client team into the office, and we said, you dig into this, and you tell us what you want to say.
And it was brilliant, because they had so much to say about why they said certain things, or why they thought they should no longer say something else, and all we had to do was give them some really good activities to allow them to dig into this messaging web that they'd built, and slowly, bit by bit, they brought the clarity to us. So this was an eye opening experience for me, because before this, I really just looked at my client as maybe someone who could help define the early stages of my project, and then just there to approve my design solutions and ultimately pay me.
So this is what we're gonna talk about in this course, how we can enhance our relationship with our client by bringing them into our design process, and using them as a valuable source of research. And also how we can let them participate in some of the fun of our design process, which gives them an opportunity to feel some ownership over the decisions that we both make together. And ultimately, this is gonna help us to get early buy-in, that is so important for us to be able to do our very best design work.