What I do
I provide my clients design that communicates ‘the promise’ to the end customer, that re-enforces their strengths and service, that is seen not as an expense but an investment.
Vehicles and messages are entirely dependent on each individuals/companys’ ultimate goal, and I see my role as a designer not only the person who creates a pretty picture but ensures it fulfills it’s brief.
Simplified, the process looks like this; ~ click on the text to expand titles.
This one should be standard but it is surprising how many people complain that they were sold something they didn’t want or ask for.
After listening make sure that you have understood a clients concerns and problems.
Take on board the details and then decide what’s a desire or a need. Apply these to a local and global context.
Once having identified their needs think how best to resolve them and with what method, where appropriate add in client desires.
Once the needs are identified then planning on how to resolve these can start.
This is the only stage in the process that actually contains what the majority of clients think ‘design’ consists of. Create a vehicle to convey the message from the client to their customer in the most appropriate tone and context.
Once the visual look and feel of the project has been decided actual construction of the final item commences.
Take the project to the end customers
See how the project is received and the reactions to the work for reference in fine tuning for the next project.
Using the information accumulated from monitoring, revisit the client to talk about the project response, it’s success but more importantly any failures.
Looking at the sub-lists illustrates that the design stage isn’t the longest task list, and arguably the least important. That said the value in having a designer who appreciates this fact is quite high. However it is the area that holds the most ambiguity, as most things that are judged at some level by personal taste generally are prone to become.
As a designer of some 10 years in professional practice I have had to achieve no small amount of humility in acknowledging this inconvenient fact, that to be effective everyone else is the centre of a designers universe. As a rule good designers implement this process as second nature and it will feel to their clients that they hold all the answers to their initial concerns & questions.
My professional goal is to be considered by my clients a ‘good designer’ without exception or hesitation.