April will see the release of my next book and podcast season. The book will be entitled “Client Centric Design” and introduces a different attitude towards working with clients, one that is in direct conflict with the prevailing attitude I currently see in the web design community.
I have just finished the initial draft and wanted to share with you the preface I have written. I feel it confronts a worrying trend that is making me increasingly angry and frustrated. I would love to know whether you agree. Post your thoughts in the comments.
I should begin by confessing that the motivation behind this book is one of anger and frustration.
I feel so strongly that I am departing from my normal habit of writing for website owners. Instead this book will be aimed squarely at web designers and the broader web design community.
The source of my frustration and anger is a growing attitude within the web design community that client work is a second rate choice.
Many are rejecting client work to embrace building web apps. This is not because they have a desperate need to build web applications, but rather as a way to avoid client work.
In itself I have no problem with this. If a web designer feels unable to have a good working relationship with clients and wants instead to work on web applications that is their decision. However, I do take issue when they imply that client work is in some way inferior.
I also take exception to web designers who treat their clients as a cash cow to fund their application development.
I love working with clients. I find nothing more rewarding than being dropped into a new organisation, in a new sector and wrapping my head around their unique problems before finding an elegant web solution.
I love working with clients in a collaborative relationship to produce something truly amazing and unique. I love solving real world business problems in a way that meets the needs of both the client and the target audience.
For me nothing is more fulfilling.
If you do not share my feelings, but are not yet ready to give up on client work, then this is the book for you. In these pages I seek to inspire and equip you to turn client work from a job into a stimulating, exciting and rewarding path that will transform your career.