Relationships are hard, whether it be with friends, your family, or a working relationship with a client. An incredible amount of work goes into making them successful, let alone last for an extended period of time. Let’s focus on the client-designer(s) relationship, one that we’ve had many years of experience with, and how the two parties need to establish clear goals for each other in order to be successful.
As with any partnership, the one between a web design agency and their client is no different. Establishing clear goals helps to set the foundation of the rest of your time together. But what should those goals be? Should they be solely focused on the product? Should they be set only for the design team? Should your client have goals set for them as well? Simply put, YES. All of those actions need to happen to ensure that both the design team and client are happy and successful.
I thought this might be a great time to share some of the goals/objectives that our web design team created in order to make our lives easier on projects
Communication might not seem like a “goal”, but it could be argued that it might be the most important goal any design team and client can set for each other. Establishing clear communication patterns – like daily or weekly check-ins – is a great way to build trust and to show progress. From our experience, nothing shows a client you care like over communicating and keeping them in the know.
Setting up finite and clear deadlines for work – whether it be a check in, a project deliverable, or a status meeting – is another great way to establish trust. These milestones not only show that you care about a project, but they’ll help to keep both parties accountable and sane.
Feedback is easy to give, anyone can say they like something (or even easier, pick out the things they don’t like). What takes effort is explaining why you don’t like something and offering potential solutions to fix the issue at hand. Whether it’s client feedback on work you’ve done, or a design team pushing back on feedback they’ve received, having a clear, thought out rationale for the reasoning and explanation against doing something is more likely be accepted.
Transparency could potentially be a subset of communication because, at it’s core, it is a specific type of communication. I personally have learned through the years to be as straightforward and honest with not only my design team, but also our clients. If you’re not going to make a deadline, if you don’t agree with something, if you don’t understand something…SAY SO. Never hold back something if it has the potential to 1.) Derail a project, or 2.) Make that project better. Nothing can turn off a client or coworker more than hiding issues or concerns you may have. When in doubt, be as transparent as possible.
Everything I’ve mentioned previously has led up to trust. Without trust from both parties a project is doomed from the start. Like any relationship trust is the glue that holds the project together. If your design team can’t trust you or the client, then regardless of how great your work may be there will always be uncertainty. If your client can’t or doesn’t trust you then continuing on the project is an exercise in failure. So the big question is how do ensure that you can establish a trusting relationship? Communicate, set milestones, give constructive feedback, and be transparent. It’s not difficult, but it takes work and time.
I can wholeheartedly say that if you and your web design agency start your next project with these goals in mind you will have a much more enjoyable experience. I’d love to hear of your team’s successes and other goals that you set for yourselves. Tweet us @MobomoApps or shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can hear your success stories.