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What the flexible designer learns from clients

During my Fabricant Way interview with Matt Dilling of Lite Brite Neon Studio,he said something that struck me as truly profound.  He described his clients as “teachers who…help change our view on the medium, change our view on our technique, and change our view of the world around us.”

Do you see your clients as teachers? Do you listen to what they tell you about their unique project and then see how it applies to other situations?

If not, perhaps it’s time to reconsider the relationship that you’ve built with clients. Shifting your perspective from that of an expert guiding rookies towards a perfect site to a student learning about clients’ needs changes your entire business model.

It’s all too common among creative experts to become so comfortable in our own methods and judgments that we dismiss other approaches – especially those suggested by amateurs – out of hand. But we can learn the most from people operating outside of our industries specifically because they’re not biased by formal instruction and years in the trenches.

When it comes to websites and other digital media, users are often not experts. This fact, ironically, makes amateurs the most knowledgeable people on your team in some cases, and a confident designer will heed those insights rather than shrugging them off.

 

What have you learned from clients that you might not have discovered without them?

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