Got a problem?
Phone rings and you pick up. It is your Favorite Client calling. The Client has a problem, as usual. However, from the very start of your conversation the Client starts talking about a solution that needs to be implemented without even discussing the initial problem
This happened the other day:
- Client: Hey, we need a big box to be placed on the Homepage!
- Designer: Well, maybe you do, but can you tell me what was the problem, so maybe we can come up with another, more elegant or better solution?
- Client: We do not get enough inquires from people visiting our site.
- Designer: Ah, OK, so that is the starting problem. Have you thought that the Contact form is maybe too complex for people to actually use it? Or that Captcha you use is too hard for people to decipher?
- Client: Hm … no.
- Designer: Could we, instead of ruining the looks of the Homepage that already has big enough Contact us button maybe rethink and redesign the Contact page?
- Client: OK, sure, let's try that.
3 days later…
- Client: Holy smokes, we're getting over 9.000 emails per day now, you designers rock, thanks!
This example, this phenomenon, is not localized in web development sector only; it is common in all industries, but is noticed the most in web design industry simply because everyone is a designer these days.
Problems, not solutions
If you have someone working for you, anyone – dentist, stone mason, carpenter, designer, programmer – when you contact them, do not start rapid firing at them with solutions to produce for you.
Start with problems and results you would like to achieve, then through dialog come to optimal solution. Even if you know the best possible solution, do not start with it, let the people who are problem solvers train their skills. Let them sweat for you.