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PMs conveying Web design ideas

By MaryWeilage Editor ·
Has a project manager ever miscommunicated your creative team's solutions to the client, as discussed in this week's Design and Usability Tactics e-newsletter? If so, what was the outcome? Did it jeopardize the project or even your career? How do you circumvent such problems?

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Find out why first

by ShawnN In reply to PMs conveying Web design ...

Talk to the PM first. There may be political or other realities that need to be taken into account. I have had clients with limited attention spans who could only listen to so much material before their eyes glaze over. If your ideas contradict the client's preconceived ideas they may reject findings out of hand even if absolutely true. You may have to figure out how to "market" the results to the client.
Even if you go above the PM's head, my assumption would be that his boss would ask if youbrought this disagreement to the PM first.

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From The Author...

by Jim Kukral In reply to Find out why first

Hi ShawnN,

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

I agree with you about the possibility of political reasons or low attention spans from the client. You are also correct that the client's ideas may contradict your findings.

However, in most cases, the client needs to understand that they hired your team because they are the experts and that the information they provide is reliable. I mean, why bother to pay us for our expertise if you're not going to listen to it.

It comes down to the "sale" of the information. Hopefully your PM is an excellent salesperson and can overcome client objections and attention defecit. A good PM should be able to do that in his/her sleep and communicate ALL the details.

Going over the head is alast resort, I agree it could have detrimental circumstances.

Have a great day and thanks again for commenting.

Jim Kukral

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additional comments

by ShawnN In reply to From The Author...

Unfortunately or fortunately I am a PM. I have been in several situations (more typically with myself and my whole team) scratching our heads as to why the client would not listen to our expert opinion (web development and non web development).

Selling is not easy. Cultural and political issues are brutal. There are still a lot of web sites out there that are poorly laid out or where the web site owners have no idea if the web site is meeting their needs - there are a lot of people out therenot listening to the best practice advice they have been given.

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From The Author...

by Jim Kukral In reply to additional comments

Yeah, you're right. Some clients will never get it. What are we going to do though, turn down the money or try to help them as best we can? You will get a different answer from a designer and a CEO.

Typically though, I think that that is an extreme circumstance and that most clients want to be helped. I have dealt with the ones that just wanted an expensive sounding board for thier already decided ideas though.

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