Our View on What Makes a Good Designer-Client Relationship

At the beginning of a project, two sides meet with a joint objective: To embark on a pleasant, productive journey that will lead to a successful product of which both sides will be proud.

As the client, you have an understanding of what you want your product to be, the industry in which it exists and what it’s meant to bring to your users. Our designers have the expertise needed to elevate this idea, transforming it into a functional, beautiful product built on the sturdy foundation of design principles.  

The goal of a good designer-client relationship is for these two sides to get the best out of one another. Neither side should feel overwhelmed or go unheard during the process.

As the Design Team Lead, I’d like to talk about how we make sure this is achieved. I’ll address common client questions, such as: How do STRV designers create a good relationship? Can you get lucky (or unlucky) with your assigned designer? What if there’s a clash of opinions? Does the designer provide guidance?

And how does it all lead to a successful product?

Note: For a more in-depth description of the Design Phase (our capabilities, process, tools, where you come in and a lot more), please take a look at Making an App, Phase 2: Design.

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From left: designers Roman Bartos, Frank Mastil, Patrik Fuzesi (Team Lead, standing), Ria Arante, Ales Nesetril (Creative Director)

BRIDGING YOUR IDEA WITH OUR EXPERTISE THE RIGHT WAY

Matching your idea with a designer’s know-how should never take a toll on the product’s functionality. It’s not two people clashing; they should be listening and working together.

Making sure both sides align in a calm, natural way starts with having the personal motivation to do so. Your motivation is as great as it gets. At STRV, we enhance our side’s motivation by doing everything we can to find the designer best suited for your project.

We know our team. We know what they enjoy and where they shine most, which is how we’re able to get you a designer that is passionate about your project — based on the industry, brand, technology or anything in-between.

What you get with STRV is a designer genuinely excited to get to know you and your vision, someone who has mastered design principles, who considers your ideas and never verges into conflict. The ability to calmly resolve issues and discuss any pushback is an inherent part of our designers’ character; we make sure of that during the hiring process.

Our team does not put up a fight to push their personal preferences onto client products. We will never stubbornly disagree. As long as a request doesn’t flat-out break industry rules, we always empathize with what you are aiming for and remain open to any idea.

However, whatever feedback comes our way, it doesn’t end with us just listening and nodding along. Expect a conversation.

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From left: designers Roman Bartos, Barbora Dostalova, Frank Mastil

TAKING FEEDBACK AT FACE VALUE LIMITS YOUR PRODUCT

“The screen feels off,” is a valid comment. So is, “There’s too much blue.” However, it’s not enough for us to turn around and change it. Expect us to dig deeper, asking questions to get to the fundamental issue with what, exactly, is wrong. This is beneficial to both sides.

From the designer’s perspective, he/she will understand your preferences and can pinpoint the key problem (which is often at first misidentified). Even without any pushback, we share new designs with you by going feature by feature, explaining our work. We’re here to help you navigate the design world, which also helps us get to know you.

From your perspective, when you point out something you’d like to change, we will explain why we made certain decisions and will guide you through the zone in which we can move around to find the best solution. Designers continually move through a world of rules, but there are margins that can be freely explored to find creative solutions that best fit what you’re looking for — and that’s what gives your product its own, unique identity.

This process of open communication also helps you understand design’s many complexities. Soon enough, you’ll be able to make suggestions that stem from a deeper understanding of what’s possible, allowing you to play an even greater role in your product coming to life.

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Designer Tomas Bruzda and his equally stylish plant

EVERY PROJECT HAS ITS OWN STORY; WE’RE HERE TO ADAPT TO YOURS

To put it bluntly, we’ve been around the block. Our team has put in the work to build good relationships in endless scenarios, hundreds of times. Whatever you’re up against — don’t worry. We will get you to that finish line.

There are startup projects that have huge stakes, with founders under immense pressure from high-level investors or after betting everything on a dream; others are senior stakeholders balancing multiple projects. And then there are the typical nerve-wracking, exhausting days leading up to the release.

Every client requires a unique approach. We are here to understand what that is and react accordingly. Sometimes, it may require having a few extra calls as we pinpoint exactly what you need. That’s okay. It’s always worth the effort — and for our designers, patience is a part of the job.

Any situation is manageable in an environment of mutual respect. See us as a partner, know that we are treating your product as our own and we will always make something great together.

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Creative Director Ales Nesetril embodying the "I'm always watching" energy

A STRONG RELATIONSHIP BUILDS STRONG PRODUCTS

Without a good relationship, the end of a project can feel strange. If your designer tends to agree with you because it’s easier than having lengthy conversations, you may end up wondering, “I’ve really had a lot of input, does the product actually make sense? What if I’ve made the wrong call?” And the designer’s left thinking, “After all those changes I was backed into, I don’t stand by what I’ve created.”

We avoid this at all costs. As we said at the start: The goal is for both sides to get the best out of one another.

Standing at that finish line, we want you to feel like you’ve expanded your design knowledge. You know you’ve got the best version of your vision. You understand why your product became what it is. And you know that the more complex decisions you can’t quite grasp were made by someone you fully trust, who’s had your best interest in mind from the beginning.  

As for us, we get to walk away knowing that we’ve gotten to know and help someone, having built a great relationship that often becomes a friendship, with a feeling of having done the best job possible.

REACH OUT

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Patrik Fuzesi

Patrik Fuzesi

Design Team Lead at STRV

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