That's not me, obviously. Although it does look suspiciously like Matt, my first digital design recruit who I'm really enjoying working with.
Anyway - back to the matter in hand, Empathy. For the last 20 years, I have been the client paying for the design work of others, briefing the look and feel, key outtakes, desired actions etc. etc.
The boot is now firmly on the other foot. Last week I designed the most beautiful impactful site for a client who loved it, and the next day came back and wanted such fundamental elements of the design work changed that I nearly wept.
Of course, I didn't. I gently pointed out to her that the whole site had been created for the colours to work together, and that to change the colour of something as fundamental as the logo within that palette was not the easy and obvious thing it might seem. That the 'brights' had been chosen to 'pop' against black. That maybe with 20 years of design experience it might be better to listen to me than her friends. That she might think she wanted the new colour but really she wasn't going to when she saw it, and not to underestimate the difference such a seemingly small change would make. I tried scaring her by sending her the link to the pantone reference site to choose the exact colour she wanted. To no avail.
I was left handing over a site that I wasn't proud of. I was frustrated and really sad. I felt my expertise and opinion were of no value. But actually, does that matter a bit? My client was delighted. She paid the extra to redo the branding at this late stage. She thought it was the best thing since sliced bread the new way. And ultimately it was her prerogative to completely ignore my advice. And I had to just let it go.........a really good refocus for me...would I rather give the clients a site I'm proud of, or one they love?
One they love.