Creating Rapport

Cydney Hellier Gray creating rapport with clientsWorking with a designer is normally an adventure in colour and space that saves you time, money, and the frustration of ending up with something that doesn’t work for you. Sometimes, though, thinking about hiring a designer can also pose some concerns and hesitations…

First and foremost, establishing a connection and good communication is key. We want this baseline before delving into decisions.

Many descriptive words, like bold, colourful, traditional, modern, hip, classical and funky can mean different things to different people. Pictures are a great backup to describe what you really mean – either by the client or the designer. Often we are searching for something we don’t even know, so the designer also investigates the “feeling”. This initial process is valuable and absolutely necessary to move toward desired results.

Throughout the design process, as a designer, we are always asking and really listening; we make concise notes and check with clients that their needs (for decision-making) are being met. Everyone processes information at different rates on different levels; we need to mesh for a successful outcome! (One client recently told me her Myers-Briggs’ profile, and this proved to be very valuable!)

Once we are working on the design and layout of a given space, we determine the goal of the project. There are usually many items to address, the visual being the fun stuff after the function and storage is laid out. We establish this through a series of questions. We are also educating the client as we go. Avoiding technical terms and design-speak can help and explaining your reasoning, as to WHY we should proceed in a certain direction or with certain materials… Any facts we can provide are invaluable.

I always remind myself that my client is hiring me, so I am grateful for this opportunity and strive to deliver more than they came for!