If customers request design revisions, don’t agree to them outright; instead, say you’re willing to explore alternative options. While you should aim to please your customers, the main concern should be serving the shopper — that’s how the customer will actually achieve their goals. A change a customer requests may not be the best solution.
Instead of taking their comment at face value, try to reach into the core of the issue at hand. What problem are they trying to solve by asking for this revision?
For example, say they ask for "chevrons overlaid on the feature carousel" but the content in the feature carousel won’t allow for overlaid chevrons — it will block important text and image. Try it out to be sure, but you can see (at right) that it’s not a great solution.
What problem is the customer trying to solve by adding chevrons? Perhaps they want to have a clearer way to interact with the carousel. This is a reasonable request, but there might be a more effective place you can put the chevrons that won’t interfere with the content.
More Options to Choose From
I don’t know what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it.
You may have heard this dreaded phrase before. A client doesn’t want the option you’ve presented, but they don’t know what they do want. The best way to resolve this scenario is to provide multiple options. This shows that you’ve considered their feedback but care about making sure you get it right.
This is not to say you should allow the customer to pick and choose. Present your rationale behind each one. Why didn’t their solution work? What are the pros and cons for your proposed designs? Which one do you recommend?
Now empowered with that information, the client will be able to make an informed decision.
Common Design Arguments and Support Research
Over years of speaking with our customers, new and old, we’ve had the opportunity to capture a small collection of research, studies and findings that we often refer to in order to better inform our design decisions. We hope some of these articles will help you in your design sparring matches internally with your teams and with customers (we use the term sparring figuratively, of course).
- Homepage Category Navigation
- Accessible Forms
- Showing Passwords
- Robust Filters
- Reducing Drop Downs
- Accordion Menus
- Font Size and Touch Targets
- Title Case for Alerts and Buttons
Fighting a Losing Battle
This is the toughest part. Sometimes clients will want what they want — even if you’ve shown that their idea may not be optimal for the shopper. However, you can’t force them to sign off on something. This is their site after all.
Even after showing them all the possible options and alternative solutions, they may still want a solution that may prove sub-optimal. In this case acquiescing is recommended. It’s never worth sabotaging a relationship with the customer.
Just make note to test it later. You can’t argue with data. Also make sure to record details around this transaction with the customer in a decision log.