By Celina Cruz firstname.lastname@example.org
As an Interior Design student, design problems and client profiles are usually given by the professors. Design layouts are then made and approved by them; and then we create the plans and other documents needed for the space. For the past years, it has always been a cycle of that.
Being an intern for CMV Interior Designs gave me the opportunity to meet one of their clients and have an actual experience first-hand. Having an actual client who expresses their wants and needs for their space is more helpful than having a fictional client like the ones we used to get for our school projects. Meeting with a client makes the task of designing seem like a joint project with you, the designer, and with the client for both of your inputs make up the space. You, as the designer, translates the needs and wants of your client through your design.
Through this experience, I was able to take note of some important things ones must remember during a meeting with their client.
5 things every designer must ask:
- What is the space for and who will be using this space?
- What will they be doing on the space?
- Does the user have any special needs or allergies that should be accommodated?
- What do they like to have on their space? What do they not like to have on the space?
- What is their budget and when do they want the space finished?
3 details you need to remember during a client meeting:
- Be well-prepared and observant. Outline your meeting and prepare the questions you’ll be asking your client. Familiarize yourself with your client. Get to know your client more as a person – ask them about their interests, their lifestyle, and try to create a connection with them to create a positive synergy with each other. If you can, compile possible designs you can present to give your client an idea or some inspiration.
- Be professional. Always remember that you are catering to the needs and wants of your client. That means being able to design a space that will ensure a better lifestyle for them while fitting their preferences. If there is something they want that might not fit the space, suggest possible alternatives that they might also like. Settle with a design where everything is well-balanced.
- Documentation is very important. Always take down notes and document everything in every meeting. Being able to keep every single detail in mind can also show how professional you are to your client and how much you value their input to the design. Compiled documents can be a huge help to recap previous meetings that can be used in future meetings. Provide a copy of your documentations to your client which can also keep them updated with the project.
These are a few things I picked up from my very first client meeting which can be of help to others too!