Client Wars: Half Your Job is Educating

Jumping into this series in the middle? Check out The Client Is Not The EnemyShut Up and Listen, and Stop Taking it Personally. Or view the series index here!

Half Your Job is Educating

It can be easy, when a client disagrees, to write them off as a moron. After all, if they only knew how ‘99 Flash intro animations were, they’d never be asking to see one on the homepage! But here’s the thing: they don’t know that Flash intro animations are long dead and cold in their grave!

Half of your job, O Designer, (especially if you’re a freelancer) is educating your clients. Your client never went to design school. They don’t stay current with the latest trends in graphic communication and marketing like you do.

Take the disagreement as an opportunity to explain why you made the decisions you made.

It’s helpful to back up your desicisons with design research. It’s also helpful to back up your decisions with good design research. If you anticipate some push-back to a design, do some research ahead of time to support your decisions. Occasionally I hear from a client that everything needs to be “above the fold.” I then talk to them about developments in user behavior over the past decade, and point to studies like this one that show that users do in fact scroll to explore content “below the fold.” Having evidence to support your claims beyond “because I said so” will help your client be confident that you know what you’re talking about and that you’re making wise decisions.

Most clients will concede the point when they realize that their opinion is just their opinion. Remember that they want the best design solution for their business. They just don’t have the benefit of years of design study and practice like you do.

Coming Up Tomorrow

Coming up tomorrow, forget what you like, and do what’s effective. Make sure you don’t miss out by subscribing to my RSS feed, or get updates directly in your inbox!

Comments are closed.