When humility rears its beautiful head
~ 02 June 2005 ~
After years of working in the industry, I think I’m finally coming to terms with humility and how it plays into client work. A rather surprising muse I suppose, as I’ve not always been the humblest of persons.
Of late I find myself verbalizing concerns over certain elements of my work as I’ve presented logo and website comps to some of my clients. On several occasions in recent weeks, I’ve penned emails that went something like this:
“Client, overall I’m pleased with where I’m headed with this layout, but I just don’t think the nav style I/we have selected is working. You?”
Foolish? A lack of confidence in my skills? Bah. I argue the contrary. Perhaps I’ve finally gained enough confidence to spot flaws in my work that were previously imperceptible, given my rather myopic view of things at times.
Why not fixed the flawed nav before sending it to the client, you ask? Before I likely would have, half the time hitting the mark and the other half missing it. But now I’ve come to value client interaction — probably more than ever before — as a more efficient means of delivering a polished comp.
Did you fail to ask the right questions before comping ever started, you also ask? Not necessarily. Even the best Q&A sessions don’t guarantee flawless comps.
All that said, here’s a disclaimer: You’ve been hired by the client because you’re the one who can command both pixel and code with swift hands and a keen eye. So don’t expect the client to make decisions that you’re already qualified to make. Deliver a well-refined comp. And don’t sell your work short. But muster up some humility, and don’t be afraid to be the critic of your own creations.
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