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To be fair, I’m just starting off with pro design (I’ve been in-my-spare-time designing for around 10 years), but I think there’s a lot to be said for the role of designer to guide the client toward what they want the design to be—that is to say, to give them as much feedback as they want to have.
This method probably works a lot better with a client that is really just one or two people, though, rather than a whole company or the like… And I think it depends on the client even in that smaller category. Sometimes I think it makes sense to give a client lots of options before starting a design in earnest; other times it’s clear that would be a bad idea.
Maybe it’s because I’m on the beginner side of pro, but I don’t like to have all the design-power in my projects. After all, the ideas for the designs did originate in the clients’ heads—even if I’m the one bringing them to fruition and, hopefully, improving them a great deal. THAT BEING SAID, if someone wants something that is just bad practice (navigation that is too small or obscure to read, for example), I will calmly and with-an-air-of-expertise explain why we should do something else. And then they’ll usually agree…