Involving the client (a Euro IA theme)

As an IA com­mu­ni­ty we’ve spent an awful amount of time edu­cat­ing our clients about the worth of our work. In a lot of instances we were aim­ing at mak­ing the client be more like us. At the sum­mit, it was inter­est­ing to see a num­ber of speak­ers stress the impor­tance speak­ing the lan­guage of your client and involv­ing them in your dai­ly work. Some exam­ples: Olly Wright’s talk on strat­e­gy includ­ed such lessons as under­stand­ing your client has a boss and find­ing out what he or she wants, speak­ing $$$ €€€, the fun­da­men­tal lan­guage of busi­ness and mak­ing your assump­tions explic­it. Jared Folk­man point­ed out we should stop talk­ing about users and start using the word client (cer­tain­ly when work­ing on retail web­sites). Doing so, we’ve already start­ed using some of our client’s lan­guage. I men­tioned agile design and devel­op­ment ear­li­er and do think that one of its points that stick out for me is the focus on face-to-face meet­ings with the whole team (includ­ing a client). Final­ly, War­ren Hutchin­son’s pre­sen­ta­tion work­shop on how to run work­shops was insane­ly use­ful for learn­ing new tech­niques to loosen up and get real results in client meetings.

This is the fourth post on themes spot­ted dur­ing the Euro IA Sum­mit 2006. The first post was on strat­e­gy, the sec­ond on social search and the third on process & deliv­er­ables. The final post will be on acces­si­bil­i­ty. My first post-sum­mit post can be found here.

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Kars Alfrink

Kars is a designer, researcher and educator focused on emerging technologies, social progress and the built environment.

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