Written on Saturday,
March 31st, 2018
“Timmy has a boat with a goat in a mote”
“Timmy has a goat on a boat in a mote”
“Timmy is in a boat with a goat”
“Timmy has a goat and a boat”
“Timmy is a goat with a boat”
We’ve all played the game “Pass It On” or “Telephone” when we were kids (at least I think you did, if not, I’m sorry that your upbringing was devoid of rainbows, unicorns, G.I.Joe, HubbaBubba and awkward haircuts). Nothing better illustrates the idea of communication deterioration and the difficulty of conveying ideas and concepts verbally. Often as designers we believe that our means of communication is obvious and universally understood. But we speak the language with which we are most familiar, which is not always the one our listeners need to hear.
The key to communication is to make sure that what you say and what you hear are translated with accurate intent. In most cases simplicity is the best option except when it comes to communication. If you need translations australia online services, visit www.ethnolink.com.au for more information.
The key isn’t getting a client to speak your language but for you to ask questions that will provide the intent to what they speak. Direct your client toward input and feedback that will help you in formulating goals and solutions. You can’t always interpret the meaning of what someone is implying, but there are guidelines you can use to coerce your client toward answers that will help you. So, before you start your ideas and concepts ask a series of easy to answer questions that require the client to clarify their needs. Ask the client to provide keywords, themes, information on their competition, their likes and dislikes in design, functionality and content.
Pay attention. Sometimes your client is telling you exactly what they want, but you’ve become so accustomed to the vernacular and jargon of your own industry that you can’t see the obvious when its at your doorstep. Sometimes the subtly can be overlooked. When they say “make the logo bigger” determine that this isn’t a visual statement, but a hierarchical one. It means, make sure our brand is visible, prominent and obvious — not lost in the clutter of design and information.
Repeat and Clarify
There is a common exercise with newly married couples to teach good listening and interaction; I’ll call it “the rock”. While one person speaks his or her mind they hold the rock; which means the other person must be quiet and listen. When that person is done the rock is passed to the other who must open with “What I heard you saying was…”; in which they repeat what the person said and how the interpreted it. The process repeats back and forth, teaching active listening and clear communication, killing assumptions. Be sure to pass the rock with your client.
The preliminary process of questions and answers weed out generic, open language and communication, helping you to determine if you can fulfill the clients needs. You may find that hoping you can define their needs for them (in which case you need to run away as fast as you can). Alternately, you’ll find you are able to decipher your clients industry specific lingo and use the information to begin the conceptual process. By the way, don’t forget to check this information on leasing here, great you business.