From the client’s point of view, there are two crucial criteria in deciding what designer is awarded the project:
- 1. Does the creative understand what’s needed?
2. Is the creative capable of delivering?
Understanding What’s Needed
Defining the problem accurately is necessary to solving it. If a designer can do that, he in essence has half the project accomplished before he’s begun. If he can articulate the client’s current situation, the need for new design solutions, and what those solutions need to accomplish, he will be able to determine appropriate design strategies.
Solutions are often provided by a designer that serve to re-define, rather than support, the purpose of the design. This is where the client becomes unsure of the designer’s intentions and rifts begin to form in the working relationship. Trust is broken, and it’s difficult to restore it.
How does a designer understand what’s needed? First, by listening carefully, and then asking questions to clarify. The designer should be able to reiterate the needs and the reasons to the client in his own words.
Capability of Delivery
Capability is proven when the project is delivered. Until then, capability is only assumed. How the designer works with the client, crafts the project, works with vendors and suppliers, schedules, and deals with client uncertainties and idiosyncrasies will either build or destroy trust.
Many clients have been disappointed by designers and are therefore skeptical of the claims of the next one that comes along. The next one must work harder to prove his value when the one before him misses the mark.