Monthly Archives: February 2006

Understanding clients in a Blink

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I’ve been reading “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” by Malcolm Gladwell. What a fascinating book! It’s not a design book and contrary to the way the title sounds, it’s not a “how-to” book. What it does is help us to understand how/why humans make snap judgements in the blink of an eye. When you think about it, this concept has a lot to do with how we do what we do as designers. It particularly speaks to how clients react to our work as well as to us, personally.Clients at a BlinkAt some point during every project, while selling our work to clients or while our clients’ clients are interacting with our finished product, Blink comes into play. Clients make a snap judgement to the initial design comps we show them based on their own, subconscious feelings/emotions/biases. An award-winning design which we created for one client, a design the client may have loved, could be soundly rejected as crap by another client.Same work. Polar opposite reactions. Is it really the work the client is reacting to? Maybe not. Maybe they love the work we show them because they love us? More specifically, the love the process we have just subjected them to. Conversely, maybe they hate the work because they hate us or the process leading up to the presentation of work.

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