User and Client Needs

It is some times easy to group the aim of clients and users are the same. The aim of a designer is to solve particular problems that have been specified by a client. Clients need to be given a solution so that it can enable them to achieve their goals by having something to supply to their users. Users then use the solution that the designer and client together have created.

The iterative design is a way of overcome unpredictable user needs and actions that can leave to significant changes in a design. Designers must recognise that the user testing results that they receive back may show problems with, what was thought to be, well thought out ideas.

What we have to remember at the end of the day is that ‘the client is not the user’, meaning that business goals are not the same as as user goals, and that ‘good’ designs aim in the long run to improve the experience of the user.

To achieve this we can use different modes of critical thinking. Deductive reasoning is where you find one or more premise to reach a logical conclusion. Inductive reasoning is the premise to seek strong evidence for truth of the conclusion and, adductive reasoning is the logical process from the research to the idea through observations, however like deductive, this premise does not lead to a conclusion.

As a designer, you would frame the work within a metaphor by knowing what the user needs to be able to get from it and how the client wants this to be achieved. The metaphors don’t need to be known by the client but a designer will always have one in mind. What the designer sees in a problem is different to how the client sees the end product and how they might use it. They all have roles to play in the process, however, this may not be the same conventional route to get to the end product.

So what does this mean to me? As a designer, I need to remember that although the client will specify a problem that they would like solving to me, I should take into account who will be using the product in the long term. I need to think beyond what myself and a client think would be the best solution, and put more of a focus on the end user.


– Walker, R. 2014., How to Balance the Needs of Client and Users. CREATIVE BLOQ [online]. Available At: [Accessed On: 13 Novemeber 2014].


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