What Designers Should Know About Their Clients

Thinking of starting your first project with a new design client? Exciting isn’t it? But sorta nerve-wracking too, right? Before getting into a whole lot of mess and getting tangled with a client who’s terrible to deal with, here are some of the details you should know about design clients before starting a project together.


Your client’s business

Know what they’re composed of. Know what they’re offering and explore the business. You should learn how successful they are (just so you know they won’t have a hard time paying you), functionalities and what makes them lose their cool. You should also get into how long they have been in business for, the services and products they provide, their mission and vision, the company’s branding, messaging, and assets already in place, and lastly their goals in hiring you.


Your client’s needs and expectations

We all know that one client’s needs are unique from other clients. You should know how to get your clients to say EXACTLY what they want without the unnecessary vagueness. This lessens misunderstandings in the long run. You should also get into: what they look for in a designer (just in case they require a different skill-set than what you offer), how large or how small the project is or whether its a long-term or short-term agreement, how many hours to dedicate into the project or the general timeline, what they need from you and their willingness to pay or how much they expect to pay for advice, opinions, and design expertise, and lastly, communication, when to return calls or emails, preferences in whether to give or expect a call.


Your client’s personality

Professionalism differs. As sad as it may sound, it doesn’t matter how professional you are, sometimes personalities can clash. Take time to learn a potential client’s personality and make sure you get along with the person behind the negotiations. You should also get into learning whether or not they speak to you with respect and dignity, appreciation of input and valuing of your opinions, whether or not you can meet, call, skype this person frequently, and lastly, your client’s honesty, how they clearly articulate their needs, expectations, and opinions.


Just give and take, and well… learn to bend backwards! You can do this!