Yesterday I led my first client meeting at Organic. While I’ve been producing client-facing deliverables such as annotated wireframes, user flows, and content matrixes since I began my role in May, this was the first project where I was lead UX and thus, responsible for presenting wireframes to the client.
Presenting to clients in general is not new to me. I spent a great deal of my previous career meeting with, presenting to, and building relationships with third parties. But defending my design decisions? That’s something that I am still learning to do.
But as they say, preparation is the mother of success. What? They don’t say that? Well, they should. Because being prepared for the questions the client might ask about why I chose a text link versus tabs or how the user will know that the image is swipe-able on mobile had me ready to clarify exactly why those were the right decisions to make for the design.
More importantly however–being ready to convince the client of my design choices helped me to defend the design to MYSELF, who is often the harshest critic.
Perhaps the most intimidating thing about beginning my career at Organic was that it is a creative firm. Although I’ve always surrounded myself with professional creatives and various other artsy type folks, I never really considered myself one. I didn’t paint, I didn’t draw, I didn’t design really.
I was an appreciator. I had a good eye. I could tell you want worked and what didn’t. But call myself a creative? Nahhh. Poseur I am not!
But what I’ve found in the few short months I’ve been here is that creativity and the role of a professional creative is really just about solving problems. And solving problems are my THING. So, me a creative? Yep, problem solved!
Too bad my creative anxiety didn’t stop there. Even after I’ve accepted my newfound role as a creative, I still manage to think I’m doing it wrong. Well, along comes Andrew Zuckerman to articulate it for me.
Creativity isn’t just about knowing how to solve problems, it’s about acknowledging that a problem exists and giving yourself the freedom to discover the solution.