November 24, 2009
New information keeps coming at us faster and faster and it makes it more difficult to focus on what we are learning. When you’re thrown into it like we have been, realizing why we are adapting becomes harder to recognize. However, we’re trying our best to absorb everything, evolve and then realize why we’re doing something different so that we can share it.
Asking questions is pretty easy, but asking the right questions can be freakin’ hard. Our first experience with this was at the very beginning of Drifting Creatives. We had a client that wanted a logo. We had a meeting, asked a ton of questions and got responses of “Well I’m not sure”, “I’d have to see it”, “When I see it, I’ll know”. So did we ask the right questions? We left that meeting completely unsure of what the client wanted. At the time, I didn’t think it was our fault, but now I believe it was. As designers, we are communicators. It may be perceived that we only do it visually but when you work with clients, if you can’t communicate with them, you are done.
Communication isn’t just about how you verbally relay information. It is also how you obtain information, how you draw it from a person in conversation. We have to pull, sometimes pry, what we need from our clients and if we don’t, if we give up, we’re really failing our clients.
How do we ask better questions? We’re still refining our process. It is never going to be a strict list of questions. It will be learning how to better relate to our clients, getting into their shoes, and understanding how they perceive their business. Research!
We also think transparency is key. When you are with your best friend you can ask them and tell them anything. You have trust, you’re open and unafraid. Now obviously not every client is going to be your best friend, maybe not even a friend, but developing that trust, being transparent and approaching it from a friend perspective will help to have real communication. Communication that hopefully gives you a better perspective for what your client needs.
How do you ask the right questions?