Bridging the Gap between Designers and Clients

57c54c81bc7aebdea62dd1a041f325b6?s=47 Breandán
December 10, 2012

Bridging the Gap between Designers and Clients

A presentation given by Breandán Knowlton (@bfk) at the "Ready to Inspire" conference held in Leiden, The Netherlands on 10 Dec, 2012 ( Matthew Pennell posted some notes at

The essential take-away is that the tools and processes of web design support a state of "flow", and that projects can be designed in a way to include clients in this state, leading to greater engagement and better, more meaningful projects.



December 10, 2012


  1. @b #InspireConf 2012 Bridging the Gap between Designers & Clients

  2. @b #InspireConf 2012

  3. @b #InspireConf 2012 Today, I’d like to talk to you

    about: Client culture and Design culture What goes into Great Work What to change on your next project … in 35 minutes or so. Questions or comments via @bfk
  4. @b #InspireConf 2012 I won’t talk to you about: Web

    typography CSS tricks Why you should buy my book, “A Practical Guide to Managing Web Projects” at
  5. @b #InspireConf 2012 Design Culture & Client Culture Incompatible?

  6. @b #InspireConf 2012 At work I’m a client I talk

    to other clients about designer culture
  7. @b #InspireConf 2012 My Project Ecosystem 2011 2012 2013

  8. @b #InspireConf 2012

  9. @b #InspireConf 2012

  10. @b #InspireConf 2012 And yet – we don’t work alone.

    Clients and digital craftspeople can make Great Projects
  11. @b #InspireConf 2012 Together, we want … A feeling of

    energised focus The sense of full involvement Enjoyment of the process
  12. @b #InspireConf 2012

  13. @b #InspireConf 2012 Not incompatible. In the best partnerships, both

    partners have space to do Good Work.
  14. @b #InspireConf 2012 We want to do Good Work “enjoy[ing]

    doing your best while at the same time contributing to something beyond yourself.” ~ Coert Vissar
  15. @b #InspireConf 2012 Great Projects Don’t depend on a single

  16. @b #InspireConf 2012 Great Projects Depend on everyone working in

    rhythm. Doing good work. Being invested. In a state of FLOW.
  17. @b #InspireConf 2012

  18. @b #InspireConf 2012 You can control this. FLOW needs just

    three things, and you can create all of them.
  19. @b #InspireConf 2012 Flow requires: 1. Immediate Feedback 2. A

    Balance of Capability & Challenge 3. Clear Goals & Progress
  20. @b #InspireConf 2012 1. Immediate Feedback Short Cycles

  21. @b #InspireConf 2012 This should be easy for Designers.

  22. @b #InspireConf 2012

  23. @b #InspireConf 2012

  24. @b #InspireConf 2012 Harder for Clients. But there’s one thing

  25. @b #InspireConf 2012 User Testing

  26. @b #InspireConf 2012

  27. @b #InspireConf 2012 2. Balance Capability & Challenge

  28. @b #InspireConf 2012

  29. @b #InspireConf 2012 High Challenge, High Skills

  30. @b #InspireConf 2012 Designers Seek Challenge

  31. @b #InspireConf 2012

  32. @b #InspireConf 2012

  33. @b #InspireConf 2012 How do you challenge Clients? Challenge them

    to know their customers. Challenge them to write good copy. Challenge them to do meaningful research.
  34. @b #InspireConf 2012

  35. @b #InspireConf 2012 3. Clear Goals We all like to

    see where we are.
  36. @b #InspireConf 2012

  37. @b #InspireConf 2012 Designer goals Getting paid for your time

    Preparing for the next gig Porfolios Webbys Learning
  38. @b #InspireConf 2012 Client goals Related to customers and their

    needs Related to financial impacts Related to changes in internal processes
  39. @b #InspireConf 2012 Fast, Cheap, Good. Pick Two. For Designers,

    somewhere between money and quality. For small Clients, between money and time. For large Clients, between time and quality.
  40. @b #InspireConf 2012 TIME COST QUALITY D C € C

  41. @b #InspireConf 2012 Goals to Agree On Reflect the values

    of an organisation Create measurable value Finish project, on time, on budget
  42. @b #InspireConf 2012 Time for action. Here’s what I challenge

    you to change on your next project.
  43. @b #InspireConf 2012 Project Structure Option 1: Kind of how

    you do it now. DESIGNER CLIENT Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No
  44. @b #InspireConf 2012 Project Structure Option 2: Why not bring

    the client into your FLOW? DESIGNER CLIENT
  45. @b #InspireConf 2012 Project Structure Option 2: Why not bring

    the client into your FLOW? DESIGNER CLIENT 1. Feedback 2. Challenge 3. Goals
  46. @b #InspireConf 2012 Result Designer AND Client are in a

    state of FLOW. Both invested. Both learning. Both experiencing spontaneous JOY of creating.
  47. @b #InspireConf 2012 Result You can do Good Work together.

    Something that neither could create alone.
  48. @b #InspireConf 2012

  49. @b #InspireConf 2012 Now: Go do some work that you’re

    proud of!
  50. @b #InspireConf 2012 Thanks! I’m Breandán Knowlton. You’ll find me

    at @bfk or And I wouldn’t mind at all if you bought my book.
  51. @b #InspireConf 2012 Credits • Oliverbeatson: • Visser, Coert:

    "Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning" • Richard Rhee: • Evan Ferstenfeld: • Ken Colwell: • Hiroshi Nittono, et al: %2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0046362 • Panic: • Aleksandr Novoselov: • The Reboot: • • W3C: • AG Gilmore: • George Keith: