What I’ve learned from my mistakes: Part II

This is the second of three posts covering what I was supposed to be talking about during the UXCampLondon. You can check the first post of the series here.

Clients have no idea

Oh, classic mistake. We love to rant about our clients. They have no idea about the Internet, they keep asking for stupid changes, they don't listen to us… and the list goes on. Actually it's our attitude towards them what generates those problems. Although yes, there are toxic clients, in general they only want to be sure their money it's well spent. Actually they normally are as exited as us about projects. Remember my previous point? This is the same. Because our main stakeholder is a marketeer, that doesn't mean he's incapable to understand user experience. Actually he probably knows a lot about their customers. About what his company is doing well, their strengths and weaknesses. A lot more than us, who have a great background in User Experience, but probably know close to nothing about his business. What I've found is that instead of approaching a new project as the expects, it works a lot better if we approach them willing to learn. If we listen to them, if we make them part of the process. They will start trusting us, because obviously we know about our craft, and we'll have much better information, be better prepared to deliver a product that works, making your client happy. So the next time your client ask you for stupid changes, think first about how are you treating him, if you're listening to him and trying to understand their problems. A way to do this is by being more open, making them participant of the design process. Showing work in progress wireframes, sharing discarded sketches and ideas. Those things help them to understand that we've spent hours thinking about their problem from different angles, and will be more receptive to our final proposition. In the end, clients are paying your bills, so you better have a good relationship with them.