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24 June 2021

Getting what you want from the client

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about ‘Design Thinking’.

Design thinking is a non-linear, iterative process used to understand users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create and test innovative solutions. It’s basically what I do. There’s one missing…love.

Alan Fletcher is a hero of mine. I recently revisited his work ‘Beware wet paint’ and found a brilliant summing up of his mindset that, I should imagine, most great designers who have to provide a creative solution can relate to.

When asked ‘How do you go about getting what you want from a client?’ he answered, “Smile! I operate best with a certain kind of client. There has to be a rapport. It’s not like dealing with your greengrocer, which is a strict buying and selling interaction. It’s more than that. It requires emotional commitment on my part. You get sucked into it. In some ways it’s not so good because you spend too much time, and your emotional commitment to the task is probably greater than the client’s. I need a client who feels that I can supply something they want. If it’s too hard-nosed my mind begins to wander and it all becomes frightfully laborious and uphill work. That doesn’t turn me on.

Exactly that.