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(Act) Like You Know — June 3, 2015

You’re My Favorite Client

Author’s Name: Mike Monteiro

Year of Publication: 2014

Author Information: Mike Monteiro is the co-founder and design director of Mule Design, an interactive design studio whose work has been called “delightfully hostile” by The New Yorker. In early 2011, he gave a Creative Mornings talk entitled “F— You, Pay Me” that not only uplifted the downtrodden the world over, but fueled his first book, Design Is a Job. In 2014 he won .net’s Talk of the Year award for “How Designers Destroyed the World,” a screed about designers taking responsibility for their work. He can be heard weekly as the co-host of Let’s Make Mistakes. None of the terms Mike has coined are printable on a family website. Find out more: http://abookapart.com/products/youre-my-favorite-client

Has the author published anything else noteworthy?
Design is a Job

What level of experience is needed to use the information in the book?
Very little, the book is not technical. However, be warned… the author’s language is colorful.

Who will find it most useful?
Marketing professionals and business managers who want to raise their design game.

What are the core ideas shared in the book?

  • Why You Need Design
  • Hiring a Designer
  • Working Together
  • How to Evaluate the Work
  • When Things Go Well
  • When Things Go Wrong

How did Mike Monteiro support/prove his ideas?
With a successful career within the industry, and a reputation for being an excellent storyteller, Monteiro shares his ideas in the form of advice. He mainly relies on anecdotes from his career to illustrate his points. You either buy into his expertise up front or you don’t.

Was there an industry need behind the writing of the book?
Improving the results of design services for clients.

Favorite Quotes from You’re My Favorite Client

“You’ll make more money from your website than the designer ever will.”

“A designer who nails something right out of the gate isn’t good—they’re lucky. A designer who works with you, listens to your feedback, pays attention to your users’ needs, and brings the work closer to the mark with each iteration is good. You don’t want to rely on luck. You want someone with a proven process that ensures you success time and again.”

“The most important thing to keep in mind while evaluating design: what you’re looking at isn’t art, not even close. It’s a business tool in the making and should be looked at objectively like any other business tool. Your feedback for your designers is based on the same stuff you care about with any other person you interact with at work: how is this going to help your business succeed? That’s something you are very good at evaluating. The right question isn’t “Do I like it?” but “Does this meet our goals?” If it’s blue, don’t ask yourself whether you like blue. Ask yourself if blue will help you sell sprockets.”

What nugget of wisdom do you take away from this book?
A good design process is critical for getting consistently successful results. “Design isn’t magic and it isn’t art. It’s a craft.”

Is there jargon that needs to be defined?
Yes, but not a lot. There’s a glossary in the back that provides context to commonly misused words.

Cody Hoppis
Sketchfolio – Director of Technology

Cody loves nothing more than a good puzzle, whether it’s making your home page’s Twitter feed PG-13 or fitting twelve pages of single-spaced engineering specifications into a three-page brochure. You should ask him about whatever shiny new thing he’s learning right now — just be sure you’re ready for the answer. He gets really excited about this stuff and has been known to go on for a while. Let’s talk if you’ve got an interesting problem for him to explore.

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