A collaborative approach to web design

Every now and again I read a post that makes me want to stand up and shout “Yes!” ‘Demystifying Design’ on A List Apart is one such article.

The post argues that it is time for us as designers to drop the smoke and mirrors act and open our profession to the world.

As designers, we must demystify the way we work. We must make our tools accessible, our jargon more mainstream, and our processes transparent to our teams.

But as the author goes on to argue, this doesn’t just apply to our teams.

We must work more closely and collaboratively with our teammates, colleagues, and clients.

This collaborative working model with clients is something I am obsessed about and is the subject of my upcoming book ‘Client Centric Web Design’. Collaboration brings many benefits.

Collaborative teams have trust. Trust stems from transparency between roles. As designers, we need to bring this transparency to our processes. Sharing the way we work and inviting others to participate is the first step. A colleague who may have originally thought that designers simply “made things pretty” starts to realize the rigor and experience that goes into each design decision.

If we want respect for our profession then we need to let people see just how complex and challenging it can be.

Of course inviting clients to participate in the design process is a scary prospect, but then that is why I am dedicating an entire book to the subject :)

Please inform me when Client Centric Web Design is available

  • Chad Mefferd

    Considering how much of what happens in the creative process is driven by intuition, I look forward to reading what you have to say about it.

  • http://8gramgorilla.com/ Gordon McLachlan

    Working with clients is, of course, massively important in producing a successful product as, after all, they are the ones who understand what they want to achieve the best. Building up and maintaining a good relationship though is very tough but, personally, I believe it’s key to running a happy business. No matter how big or small you are, what’s the point of coming to work if you don’t actually like and get on with the people you’re dealing with every day?

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