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.