5 Characteristics of Typical Chinese Clients
Here are 5 typical characteristics (generalized and a bit exaggerated though) of Chinese clients who hire a product design consultancy to help them developing a product.
1) They treat consultancies as vendors. A vendor delivers a product after an order. Therefore the client does not expect a process of design iteration. They do not expect any risk. They sit and wait for the vendor to deliver without collaboration at all.
2) They expect more than what was agreed in a contract, because they often have no clear idea what they really want or expect from the beginning, as they are inexperienced in new product development. They learn during the process, and ask for more.
3) They often do not understand what it takes to create innovation. They set unrealistic expectations and goals. They do not understand that innovation takes time, money and risk. They do not understand that their own capabilities are limiting themselves. They cannot accept failures. The product has to be perfect. They are comparing everything with the iPhone, but they do not understand the real innovation behind the whole product/system.
4) They think they are the designers and want the designer just to draw their ideas out. They simply do not trust the designer.
5) They gather as much people (5-10) as possible for any design review meetings, and 99% of them do no contribute at all.
Again, all the above are not always true, but often recognizable for designers working in China. So what’s in for us? As design consultants, we need to learn working with these clients. Both parties need to adapt.
By the way, the text on the t-shirt is reflecting what clients usually ask for a design: we need it fast, cheap and good
The designers respond with: it’s going to be ugly, it takes time, costs more money, or it just cannot exist.