Don’t expect the client to mind read 22:21 on Sunday

I’m working as a UI designer (or do I need to say UX designer…) in a project involving the redesign of a rather biggish corporate web service. The technical design of the new backend has been going on for months, the architecture has been redesigned, and the development phase is ready to start.

Last week we had the first meeting about starting the UI design work, and everything went smoothly with the client. I dropped an innocent email to the development team, asking when they would guesstimate they need the finished UI prototype delivered… and they basically said “in 4 weeks”. So much for interviewing users, creating mockups and paper prototypes.

Lesson learned: I thought I’d wait for the client to schedule the start of my involvement in the project, but clearly I should have been more proactive to create time for a proper design process. When you’ve worked with a client for months, it’s easy to make a mistake expecting the client to know what process you’re planning to use on a new phase of the project. Once again, it’s all about good communication.

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