05 May 2015

Working with me

A couple of weeks ago I sent a small survey to selected clients. I wanted a quick and easy way for them to be able to tell me what they think of working with me and the work I deliver. Each client could leave a comment and decide if they wanted to leave their name or not.

There was one specific comment that made me extra happy. It’s short, just two sentences but it captures so much of what I think is important when working with me.

Are you ready for it? Here goes:

“What impresses me most is the way Anton understand the underlying needs of the business, and translates that into a beautiful solution. Anton is very easy to work with and he is good at finding the balance between listening and pushing.”

If we break it down, here’s what I love about it:

As a designer, my job is not to create pretty things. My job is to understand the underlying business needs and translate these into a well-crafted solution. This involves understanding the client and their business as well as it involves understanding their end users and their needs. The client in question is the world’s largest electricity supplier (E.ON) and I’m helping them with an online tool for their largest corporate clients. Needless to say, I am not part of their target audience. But as a UX-designer, it’s my job to understand how someone who’s a site operator thinks. It’s my job to understand and develop the features an accountant will need.

Working with, especially, large corporations is very different from working with smaller start-ups. The pace and the time it takes to get things implemented is very different. It’s essential to understand the possibilities as well as the limitations of any client that you work with. And most of all, it’s important to understand when to push and when to pull back.

Creating an online experience is not a sprint, it’s like so much else, a marathon. And as a designer, I need to be able to know my body well enough to know when to push and when to slow down and just enjoy the scenery.