Designers’ Dilemma: To Compromise or Not? That’s a Question
As a UI / UX designer, a job falling in between technical worker and artist, you must’ve ever been in such a dilemma: the client doesn’t like your design, which you’ve spent a couple of days and nights to complete. He even thinks you were blindly feeling good about yourself. The design, which is full of your originality and ingenious details, can’t be understood by them at all. You start to complain about the twisting values of the day, where the clients see nothing but public demands and efficiency curve. Say, you finally made a design they like, but you feel ashamed to share it on social network, since it’ll win no respect for you from fraternity. Therefore, in this article, I want to discuss this with you: as UI / UX designers, whether we should compromise to satisfy our clients?
It’s Necessary to Follow Your Own Heart in UI/UX Design
“An artist, whose work cannot even touch himself, will never influence others.” This might be a little old-fashioned these days, but still tell the truth to some extent. As UI / UX designers, we should above all have the ability to touch ourselves. In other words, be sensitive enough; otherwise we cannot get the exact demand of our clients and master the details.
Years ago, a superior told me, “There’s no bad design, but only a design that appears in a wrong time at a wrong place.” He’s right. As UI/ UX designers, we need to have confidence in our professional competence. Don’t get frustrated only because of some negative words by our clients.
We should follow our heart and believe in ourselves timely, as self-recognition plays an important role in the career of UI / UX designers if we want to be engaged in this industry for a long time. Passion is the source of persistence, and it’s hard to keep the passion when you have no sense of achievement when doing a work. Therefore, we need to have confidence in our professional competence when there’s a disagreement with our clients. Here the “professional competence” refers not only to a master of designing tools like Photoshop and Mockplus, but also our logics and thinking modes. The design we made will definitely affect others if we ourselves really get touched by it.
Good UI / UX Designers Are Able to Satisfy Their Clients
A good UI / UX designer can not only make a design to his own satisfaction, but also meet the needs of his clients. This is in fact nothing about catering to the public taste. Following are the two reasons:
(1) Designers Know a Lot about UI /UX, but Little on Public Demands
Designers might be an expert on colors, interactions and user experience, however, as for public demands, market situation, etc. we’re probably not better than the clients. UI / UX designers sometimes have an illusion that they know more about public demands than Party A, that’s, frankly speaking, a little stupid. It’s common that a really humanist and ideal design couldn’t even find its place in real life.
A good example to explain this is to go to the barbershop. The hair designer never gives what you want even if you’ve put requirements very clear. Finally you get a stupid haircut and became speechless when he told you the one you want doesn’t even fit you. At that moment, the barber also imposes his opinions on others, just like us designers. Therefore, as UI / UX designers, it’s not wise to make choices for our clients.
(2) Project Competence Is More Important than Influence at First
Some people believed that a designer, who wants to grow up to be one of the top-class, should gradually increase the influence of his design. That’s right. However, at the beginning, project competence is more important than influence. Whether you can realize the required interactions independently; show complicated experience with simple graphics; concentrate on your work and give best performance when an advance payment is denied; sketch for a dozen of hours to finish the design in time; think more than your clients when they didn’t tell their demands completely and leave a reasonable space for them in design. All of these are what we called “project competence”. Therefore, as a new designer, if you want to adhere to your own ideas or increase your influence, project competence is the premise. We have reasons to believe that a designer who has excellent project competence will definitely win clients’ respect and get the chance to show his talent.
Until now, you might’ve already had your own answer to this question. It’s good to follow the heart in UI / UX design, but you won’t make progress if you blindly follow your heart, without listening to the advice from outside. If you love design so much and want to make it a life-long career, just take actions now. Learn not only those professional skills, but also effective ways to communicate with your clients. I’m sure that you’ll become an excellent designer some day!