Do we speak the same language?

A podA little bit of advice on dealing with architects, designers, project managers and other people who may not speak your “careers or library language”.

We all know that different jobs use acronyms and jargon that may be totally impenetrable to outsiders, but many common words often have completely different uses in different industries and not realising this early on can lead to a whole host of problems.

It may not be apparent at first that you are all talking at cross purposes, you may have thought it was obvious and so did they, but it turns out there are 3 completely different views on what was said.

My advice, define everything and communicate it to everyone involved.  Agree what to call things that may be ambiguous and clarify exactly what it means in practical terms possibly with pictures!

  • What is a media wall?  Are you thinking of a wall mounted PC or a giant screen or linked screens? How big?
  • What is a screen? A partition or a PC or a TV?
  • Is a PC the same as a laptop or IPad?
  • What is a fixture and what is furniture?
  • What is an appointment – be clear what this means in terms of practical space and equipment needed.
  • What is a reception desk? – You may mean your enquiry or information desk where totally different types of interactions happen to at the reception area.
  • What is a confidential space and what is a non confidential space.  What does confidentiality mean in terms of sound and visibility.
  • What is an office, a meeting room, a pod? What does that mean in terms of dimensions and the activity that happens there.
  • What exactly do you mean when you say blue or red, can I see a colour pallet?
  • What is low & high – can you give me that in meters?

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