Designers that rush to solutions without understanding the client need provide their clients nothing more than style. Strategic designers know that before designs can be made, there are many questions that need to be asked. Questioning and listening are at the heart of collaborative relationships. Through these activities, designers build trust, which is a key component of client/designer success. Below are some strategies for getting the most out of your Q&A with clients.
1. Don’t dominate the conversation: In a good client designer relationship, designers need to be empathic by asking questions that are important to the client and listening carefully.
2. Leave the conversation open: Design conversations should be more than just collecting project specifications; they should capture emotions, perceptions and ideas. Open-ended questions provide an opportunity for clients to express ideas that might not normally get articulated.
3. The Five Whys: Good designs come from deep insights. Designers need to be able to get beyond surface responses and dig for real motivations. The “Five Whys” technique helps get to the heart of matters.