Understanding Our Clients' Wicked Problems

It is one thing to think we are generating great designs and services and another thing entirely to have our clients confirm this.

The intangible nature of our projects means it is very important to validate that what we are designing is seen as highly valuable by our clients. Wicked problems have no definite formulation, but every formulation of a wicked problem corresponds to the formulation of a solution.

There will be communication failures trying to describe something intangible. What the client describes is often very different from how we could interpret it. We call this semantic gap the “gulf of evaluation.” Clients should have an early look at visual prototypes so as to confirm whether our approach is suitable. We often use the term IKIWISI (I’ll Know It When I See It) because the true requirements may only emerge once the concept has been demonstrated, and even better has been experienced. When our teams demonstrate constructability and functionality using the right tools, we learn about the differences between what was asked for, and what was interpreted and designed. Thus, requirements evolve with low-resolution prototype designs, simulations, and demonstrations.

Tags: for clients