Once an agreement has been reached with a client it is natural to want to dive-in to their project uninhibited by their suggestions and questions. We already know the frustrating challenges ahead. “It’s easy”, says the client. “Just put this here and then somehow smash these two things together and make the logo bigger and put it more in the middle and change all the fonts to this fun font that I saw on a billboard yesterday.”
Contrary to this urge, the more we bring the client into the conversation the easier things get. As a practice, we communicate with the client at every reasonable opportunity and it seems to work. We still face some of the same challenges but the difference is that the client seems much more receptive to what we have to say. And we tend to gain more useful information earlier in the process when that information is most useful.
Personally, I think it all comes down to Trust. If the client feels respected because we took the time to listen, ask many questions and consider the value they bring to the conversation then they tend to listen more carefully too. The mutual respect that grows from these experiences takes us to a place of trust where clients feel comfortable with us making important design and development decisions on their behalf. It is satisfying work when a client trusts you enough to allow you to do the work you were hired to do in the first place.