The main theme in my latest book “Client Centric Web Design” is one of collaboration. If you want happier clients, better websites and more job satisfaction, you have to learn to work as a team with your client.
Interestingly, I am not alone in this point of view. A post on Smashing Magazine, perfectly articulates the point.
Set the expectation from the beginning that you will work with stakeholders collaboratively. They will help you think through the design at every step… If the client is unwilling or unable to spend time and energy on the design as you develop it, find another client. A client who is too busy to get involved in the process is a client who doesn’t care…
Collaboration is essential to great design. No one person can think of everything or always have the best ideas for every aspect of a product. It takes a group to make this happen. This might require you to occasionally browbeat the client into being available for frequent discussions on new and developing ideas, but the result will be infinitely better.
For me this is the key. Without it, a project will at best produce a mediocre website. However, I am interested in your opinion? How do you work with clients? Do they help or hinder your projects? Let me know in the comments below.