What does ‘Integrity’ mean and why is it important?

Every time you compromise in the beginning of a project, you setting yourself and your client up for unclear pain points later down the line. A simple example: Often we delay speaking about budgets until it is inevitable. And by then we will often already have spent time and money, sometimes as much as your client expected to pay for the whole project. Needless to say, this hurts the project value and the relationship quality.

Speaking about a realistic budget upfront might feel awkward, but it is as natural as speaking about a price in a store. As designers, we have the experience and thus duty to address the factors that determine the project quality. It is better to be bold than to avoid this discussion.

In this case, integrity means not compromising a good approach just to create a sense of harmony in the uncomfortable situation of a first meeting. Your client will either appreciate this or not. You can’t change this. But you will have kept your word, to yourself and to your client, to work with integrity, and to service your client with good experience and skill.

We can act with integrity because we have learnt to focus. It allows us to concentrate and think about the important things. It allows us to work inside our head. Integrity means keeping your word. Keeping your word creates certainty for others. Not keeping your word creates disappointment. Working with integrity makes you reliable and safe to work with.

It also keeps your design revisions down, since working with integrity implies, that you need to think upfront, otherwise you won’t be able to keep your word, and your design iterations won’t skyrocket. And that’s a real value to your client, because that is something anyone can rely on.

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