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The Web Designer’s Greatest Challenge

We’ve worked with a lot of clients over the years, they vary greatly in their experience and knowledge levels.  We have worked with everyone from small 1 man businesses getting a web site for the first time to regional businesses with hundreds of employees and we’re just adding another site to their long list of online properties.   There is one common thread between all of these clients that represents our greatest challenge, and that is designing/building something for them that they are pleased with and is ideally optimized for the web experience.  All too often we have situation arise where the client feels very adamant about a particular element (or many elements) of the design/layout/etc that we strongly disagree with.  Speaking as a designer, I’m used to people not liking things, and that’s OK it’s part of the gig.  It’s a real difficult and awkward situation when we know what we’re designing is best suited for them, whether it be because of technological compatibility or something that just simply makes sense to someone using the web site.  We always make recommendations based on the client’s end user and what the purpose of the site is.  Every web site is different, every business is different and with that so is the goal of the web site.  Some web sites are designed to sell products, some are to simply save time by informing clients and preemptively answering questions, some are there just to drive more business.   So when we make a design or push certain elements it’s with the idea in mind that the particular component we’re dead set on is in the overall best interest of the client.  The key with this is communication (which if you’re an avid reader of this blog you know is something we talk about often), you have to keep a clear, open, consistent line of communication between the client and the designer.  At the end of the day we’re the administrator of the client’s site, but it’s still the client’s site, and they write the check.  So the client gets the final decision on their web site, which is rightfully so.  I should state that 9 times out of 10, after the site is launched the client finally realizes why we suggested what we did then we have to go back and change things, which of course incurs a cost to them.  So my suggestion to you if you have a web site designer, really this applies to any similar type of situation, is listen to the expert…you hired them for a reason.  You’ll most often find that their decisions and recommendations aren’t to benefit themselves, but to benefit you and it works…because in the end what benefits the client, benefits the designer and you’ll both be happy.

Happy Webbing.

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