Time and time again, the old saying – “It’s all about the customer” has its application in designing for your clients more than ever. As a design boutique, it’s not really about what we like to design; it’s not about our favorite colors and shades or the typography used on a website or in corporate collateral development. It’s a hard sell – to convince a client that it’s not about what they like either. Ultimately, it’s about all elements working together in such way that the potential customer feels attracted to the website or print collateral, finds what they’re looking for quickly and buys the product or service that the client is marketing.
Years ago we had a client who built and sold homes and although the market indicated that a soft color palette is more appropriate for usage on their website, the owner wanted a very corporate, clean, cold and dark website. That’s what he liked. We tried to convince him that the market dictated another direction with website design and wouldn’t relate with this style. Despite our advice he pushed further with the palette he preferred. Needless to say, after several months and a flurry of negative comments about the “coldness” of the site, he decided to change to a much softer image, ultimately driving buyers to his website. Thus proving your marketing to the masses – not to yourself.
So teach your clients that “it’s all about the customer”. Teach them to put their customers’ likes and needs before theirs. This trickle down understanding is one of the most valuable tools you can provide to your customers. And teach them the basics of user-centered design (UCD) by helping them answer the following questions as their establishing their brand and design strategy:
- Who are my customers/clients?
- What are my customers’ goals with my product/service?
- What are my customers’ experiences with my product/service or a competitor’s product/service?
- What information will my customers need to purchase my product/service in what form do they need it?
- What’s trending in similar products/services and how are customers reacting to those trends?
- Would I buy it and why?