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9–11 September 2015

McGrath Centre, St. Catharine's College, Cambridge

Interactions with clients

Mariana Mota Oxford Computer Consultants

Session type: Tutorial
Session duration: 60 minutes

About this Tutorial

Getting your client to trust your expertise and design decisions can sometimes be tricky. The trust starts with your first interactions with them and it's important throughout the relationship. Their buy-in on your designs depends on this trust as well as their backgrounds, situations that they're facing and personalities.

In this tutorial, I'll share practical techniques for working with clients, from empathy to communication. I'll also run a 30-minute group exercise about verbal communication ('leadership' vs 'facilitator' languages). This is a fun improv activity to get you to think about which of these languages to use when communicating with clients and your team.

About the Speaker

Mariana is Head of Design at Oxford Computer Consultants, a 60-person software development company based in Oxford. She has been working with clients for the past 12 years and loves this side of her job. She is also co-founder of UX Oxford and

Session Types

Need help planning which sessions to attend? We've provided a breakdown of our various session types below.

Case Study/Experience Report

A presentation and discussion of real-life (not theoretical) experiences of the application (or mis-application) of service design techniques. Case studies and experience reports include some discussion of lessons learned and an indication of how novel the work is.


Participants learn a new approach, tool or technology through using it to solve one or more practical exercises. Any software/hardware requirements are disclosed in the session description.


A session focused around some specific tool, technique or issue. Primarily led by the speaker, tutorials usually include some elements of interactivity or individual / group exercise.


An in-depth working session on a specific topic. May include paper presentations.