No Compromise Required
Fallacies abound in the design community, especially when many designers treat design as a business rather than as a profession. One of these fallacies is that when dealing with clients, compromise is inevitable.
When designers treat design as a business instead of a profession, our clients tend to regard design as a commodity rather than as a vital and powerful professional service. In this unfortunate context, it might be assumed by all involved that compromise is inevitable. But what really fuels the fallacy of inevitable compromise is when designers approach client design work with preferences rather than with actually relevant basis for design decisions.
If you’re a designer and you prefer that the design have certain elements, while the client prefers it didn’t, compromise is indeed inevitable. But only because you’ve polluted the design with your preferences rather than with contextually sound decisions that are meant to support the client’s needs and the users’ desires and expectations.
If you’ve used contextually relevant factors as the basis for your design decisions, and you’ve got the full confidence of your client, there’s no room for compromise. In this case, client requested changes will more likely fall under the heading of augmentation or different means for achieving ends. This is not compromise?unless you fail to gain the client’s trust and allow diminishment of the design’s strength. In this case, compromise is your fault, meaning you’ve failed your client and your professional mandate.
Regardless of what others may suggest, compromise has no place in professional design. If you regularly experience compromise, you’re doing it wrong. Do it right and work to eliminate compromise from your profession.