Client and Designer Roles in Web Design
Client and Designer Roles
Posted by Adam Hayes
Clients and web designers must understand their individual roles in making sure that a website will succeed.
For a website to be effective, the business owner/representative and the web designer must work closely together to ensure that the business is presented in the best light possible on the web. However, it is always a delicate dance between the expertise of the designer and the desires and wishes of the business owner as ideas are presented, discussed, and decided upon.
I ran across this advice for web designers and business owners on how to know when to lead and when to follow in this web development dance.
- Success is a 50/50 mix. Recognize that the success of your web project is as reliant on you as it is on the web design agency.
- You know how to toot your own horn. Don't underestimate the time you will need to put into the project, especially when it comes to preparing content. You know your business the best and who your customers are. You already know how to really communicate with them (or you wouldn't have stayed in business as long as you have)
- Trust your designer's design. You hired your designer because you liked their previous work. Try to avoid getting drawn into subjective design discussions. Rely on the expertise of your designer.
- Don't become a feature creep. Always consider the bottom line and whether additional functionality will generate a return on investment. Not every "good idea" from others will enhance your website.
- Be willing to compromise and take on board the agencies advice. (We always strive to provide the information necessary for a business to make an informed decision knowing the pros and cons of a potentially harmful decision.)
- Clearly state your expectations up front. Don't presume the agency will approach the project as you would expect. We do well at designing, but aren't the best mind readers.
- The unfortunate truth. Remember, the customer is NOT always right!
- Get expectations in writing. Use the kick off meeting to clearly understand any expectations the client has for the project. Don't leave until you have a firm understanding of what they want and how you can achieve those goals.
- Speak on their level. Remember it is the design agencies responsibility to educate and inform the client about what works well online. If a client fails to grasp the logic of your approach it is a failure on your part to communicate it effectively.
- Recognize that designing a web site is about compromise. It is sometimes necessary to compromise design and usability for the sake of business drivers.
- Pick your battles! The client is ultimately paying you to produce a great website so don't be afraid to stand your ground when their opinion undermines that objection. However, know when to back down.
Following this advice will help ensure that your website becomes the best representation of your business on the web.
If you have any other advice, I'd love to hear it. Leave us a comment.
« Marriage Amendment Proposed in the Senate
Hand Picked SERPs from MSN »