Tuesday, October 19, 2004


After reading nearly 700 clientcopia quotes via Zanah, it's clear that an introductory manual of some sort needs to be written for people who work with web designers. Most of the stupid quotes were made by clients who had no idea about computers, the Internet, or web design, yet needed a website for their business. Inept clients hurt both the clients' businesses as well as the web designers, who sacrifice their time and energy. Somebody needs to write "What Businesses Need to Know about Web Design," or something similar because it seems like a lot of people don't have a clue.

A couple hundred silly quotes doesn't mean that every client isn't knowledgeable about these things, but there are loads of people who are new to creating websites and working with a designer. People believe that the designer is responsible for everything on the site and little is required from them.

I've outlined a few basic rules that people should know about web design. It's not complete, especially since I'm not a professional myself...
  • The Internet has limits and the designer is aware of them. If the designer says you can't have a 50-minute DVD quality video that takes up 10 megabytes on your site, then that's the truth. Trust the designer.
  • Words like fun, edgy, creative, corporate, loud, dynamic, etc don't mean anything, so using them to describe the site you want won't help the designer. Get specific.
  • You have to tell the designer what you want and don't want. If you say, "I'll know what I want when I see it," then you'll get exactly what you don't want.
  • If the designer says that changing a few colors, moving images, and adding text won't be easy to do, then that's right, it's not.
  • Read the contract you have with your designer, the one you signed. They usually work for money, so non-payment equals no work done.
  • If you want something done and the designer does it, but you're not happy with the results, it's not the designer's fault.
  • A white background with yellow text is illegible and the designer will tell you this. When something will look bad the designer will let you know, so trust him/her.
  • It's helpful to know some computer terminology, like operating system, browser, web address, etc. Both parties should speak the same language.
  • You provide the content, not the designer.
  • The designer waits for your approval. Keep in contact with the designer (reply to emails, voice mails, etc).
This is an incomplete list obviously, but I think I've covered many of the basics. Either the clients learn how to work with professional designers, or professional designers learn how to deal with incompetent clients while in design and art school.