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Saying: "No", often saved our business

A talk by Jakub Karlec at EuroIA 2015

About the Talk

September 24, 2015 5:15 PM

Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

When you run an agency you usually do everything to make your clients happy. But exactly this almost destroyed us. Often our people and results suffered when we gave up on our expertise and followed subjective requirements of our clients. We came to the point where we have to either change the way we work or close the agency. This is our story.

It’s a common thing when planning a project to de–scope research, analysis and user feedback. Usual reasons are insufficient budgets or short deadlines. It happened to our design agency all the time.

This setup started to bother us after we have started to embrace Lean startup and Human–Centered Design techniques in building our first own startup. We have realised how building anything solely based on the clients requirements and ideas, without getting user insights and feedback, affects the quality of IA and UX.

We have started to discuss this with our clients, we took the risk and started to reject all projects that don’t meet our new rules: research is mandatory and client has to be fully engaged in the design process. We were afraid all this will negatively affect our revenues. Quite the opposite happened. We have lost a few clients, but found new – and better – ones. Because our new approach started to attract clients with similar mindset. It now allows us to do better work and build better relationships with people like us.

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