Design Lessons From A Barber Shop

A month ago I decided to go for a hair cut at a new barber shop close to from where I live. Not because I was unhappy with the lady who’s been cutting my hair for the past 4 years, but because I couldn’t find an opening and by that time my hair has grown so long that it started to irritate me beyond control.

So I made the plunge…

Barber Shop Tweet

Well… I’m sad to say that it didn’t work out. For the month after that, I was even more irritated than before. My Barber Shop Friend succeeded in making me look like a douche bag [congratulations dude!]…

But not to worry, it’s a month later and my old hair stylist asked just the right questions to make me look like a shiny new penny [Thanks Candice! Here’s a shout out for Xco Man]

While we were talking about this unfortunate miss-cut, it dawned on me that the success of all the products I work on, hinges on asking the right questions and being really interested in our clients. [Yes, of course there are things like skill and management that plays a massive role, but for the sake of simplifying this analogy, I wont go into those.] When I had to tell Mr Barber how I want him to cut my hair without him even bothering to ask, I guess I should have known that we’re not a good fit.

It’s similar with working on websites and mobile applications. To ensure that I build the best possible product, I have to get to know the client and the people who will ultimately use the product I’m about to build. That way l won’t only have a happy client, but also a happy user; one’s that come back over and over again.

This isn’t a groundbreaking theory, but it just became very real to me over the past month. *Even though it cost me R120 and a bad hair cut…)