One of the major weaknesses I possess is the disability to communicate well with clients. My tendency to be unclear and not ask the right questions has been a problem for communication and will definitely affect future clients if I didn’t do anything about it. This is one of the things I’ve learned during my internship here. After having a not-so-good experience in trying to design a workflow webpage, I was told that I needed to know how to ask questions in order to know exactly what the client wanted. Having redesigned the webpage about five times, I finally learned that communication was extremely important and being shy would get me nowhere. This was definitely one of the most important things I’ve learned here at Webmastericons.
Familiarity is important to all of us, as most people feel a sense of awkwardness or discomfort in the presence of strangers. This is no different when working with a new client. It is important to break the ice so the client is comfortable with you. This will help them open up to the designer and be able to express what they truly want for their website. Starting with casual chitchat can help ease the tension the client may have. Developing a good relationship with the client is important as they can also potentially become a friend and may lead you to other clients.
As a web designer, many of us are tempted to use our own everyday words, which would be terminology that people outside of the web design field are not familiar with. This can lead to frustration and complications between the designer and client. The client is most interested in how this will help his/her business gain a profit. Talking about this issue helps the client understand a lot more as to what is happening and why things need to be a certain way. It creates a bridge to help the designer explain the needs for the design.
Getting a drift of how your client speaks is important as it allows you to adapt to their way of speech. It helps to allow the client to feel that they are on the same page and level as the designer, which adds to the comfort issue. I’m sure anyone would feel uncomfortable or intimidated by people using unfamiliar vocabulary.
Another important form of communication between the client and designer is the questions that the designer asks. Asking the right questions will get you the answers and insight on how the client wants his website to be designed. This is what I struggle with the most. It takes time and practice to be able to ask questions that go straight to the answer you need.
Communication is important as a whole. Knowing how to adapt to different ways of communicating with various people is a must in society today. Where would the communication be if two people didn’t know what the other person was talking about?
What are some questions that you would ask your clients that are direct and straight to the point?
What are some communication recommendations you have for designers just starting out in the field?
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