Collaboration with the client through designer’s eyes

Good design is achieved when the target audience is satisfied, and that is because of a successful collaboration between designer and client. The designer can understand the user and will make the product to work and look flawlessly (with help from developers) while the client knows what is best for his business growth. It is very important to make every stakeholder happy: from the end-users to the client, via designers and developers.

Beginning of the long trip

Well, the designer and client should be on the same page, they are not enemies. That is what I am trying to highlight every single time to the client. So, all of us should make some compromises from time to time, and that’s why it is crucial to listen to each other.

At the first meeting, I am trying to explain how the process will look and to understand every client’s requirement and what goal we should achieve. As more info I get, I will have a better understanding and plan.

After that, Dribbble, Medium, and other resources will help me to do my research. The research phase is fundamental, because the designer can explore competition, notices some good or bad characteristics, and so on. Also, because of researching, the designer can suggest some new ideas to the client. Suggesting features that solve user’s problems or address specific needs in a given market is called product design. Basically, it is an understanding of the end-user customer, the person for whom the product is being created.

Then, I can start with making wireframes and prototypes. We have many iterations, which means implementing new feedback from the client. But, every feedback is welcomed, although the client thinks that I am angry because of bad criticism. Believe me, each new iteration is improved and I appreciate any kind of feedback, because it helps me to be a better designer. After all iterations, we get a completely new UX flow with all possible states and testing it on some third-party users to see their reactions. Then, after implementing their feedback, I can say that we have the final version of the UX design.

Importance of UX and UI design

Why is UX design necessary? Because it is all about combining features, product usability, and overall experience for the user. It is not visually nice and that is the point, because you can see immediately what works and reverse. Also, it is much faster to implement changes in that phase than in UI design. As you can see, designers are problem solvers in this phase.

Now, I want to explain UI design. It is about giving skin to the UX design, in the form of different objects, colors, fonts, and so on. Usually, I do a few UI examples of main screens, because the client doesn’t know what style he prefers. Then the client tells me what he likes and doesn’t, and then I can do the final version. Then, my life becomes easier, and I can exhale literally. After that, only what I have to do is to create main flow screens, and the style guide with all elements for developers.
A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

Steve Jobs

A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

Steve Jobs

Now, developers just have to “read” UX design and to implement UI elements. I want to mention that developers should be involved in the process from the very beginning, because they are telling me what is (not) possible. Usually, we fight like cats and dogs, because everything is possible, it is just a time consuming and pricing question. But, that is the theme for another blog, and I will explain our relationship there.

What would happen if we would do UX and UI design at the same time? We would be stuck in an endless loop. Because, the client would look only if the product is visually appealing or not. Again, as Steve Jobs said: “The design is not just what it looks like and feels like. The design is how it works”.

Back to reality

Above is described the perfect case – kick-off meeting, researching phase, UX design with iterations and usability testings, and UI design. I have never met a client that adheres to this design process. And, I will never stop hoping to meet him. Now, I will tell you how it really looks in bullet points.
  • Usually, the client doesn’t understand the importance of UX design. He is shocked why there is no color and other visually nice elements, and they can’t concentrate on usability characteristics.
  • The other big problem is that clients expect that a designer needs only a few hours to do around 50 screens that usually converts into 150, because of all possible flows. So, expecting everything right now is not realistic.
  • The client adores to make UX changes during the UI process. That is what I hate the most, because we have agreed that UX design is final. But, you know that I have to obey the client, and I always try to make some compromises.
  • It depends on the case, but some clients can be stubborn. Then the war begins and I have to give a lot of arguments why it should not be like he suggested. Sometimes the client “wins”, sometimes I.
  • Getting messages from the client even during the night. So, the client doesn’t give me to sleep like a baby, because I am thinking about flows, colors… I can’t chill out, not even in dreams.
But I have learned how to handle the client. Everything is about compromises. I have to do what he imagined, what I planned to, and to prove to him why it is (not) good. Of course, every time I have to repeat how the process should look and to take care to not skip any step. The essential thing is to calm down the client, to tell him that everything will be delivered by the deadline.

Designer’s job = making everyone happy

Anyway, at the end, we get a satisfied client who always comes back. And that is what matters to us, as a company. The client is satisfied because their end-user customers are fulfilled, and that’s the reason why the client’s business is growing. Now, you know the truth. So, contact us to check it out by yourself. Don’t worry, my colleagues and I will give the best to realize your idea. And we won’t keep you in the dark, because we force the transparent process, as you can see in this blog.

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