3 comments

  • Marcel van Werkhoven, 3 years ago

    I don't agree with this at all.

    In reality creating a website lay-out isn't as easy as people think it is. I've had some open ended projects for clients. We'd supply the building blocks and they'd have to create the pages themselves. It usually ends in disaster.

    A 120 x 120px image used for a full-width call to action. Or just the 'plain text' option was utilized instead of one of the 20 other carefully crafted building blocks. There's also the nightmare of adding 1000 words to a header to make sure 'Google can find it' and not using the H1/H2 tags at all.

    To create an effective and visually pleasing lay-out you need to have some sort of background in graphic design, communication and/or webdesign. Also when the end result looks bad you'll be blamed for it because after all you made the website.

    The question is not about control, the question is about responsibility and accountability. I've had clients ruin great webdesigns. Like a personal coach who used the creepiest pictures of himself on the website.

    Protect your clients from themselves!

    0 points
    • Aurooba Ahmed, 3 years ago

      Hmm. So here's what I think: you can't just hand over building blocks to someone and expect them to just get it. You're absolutely right, this is a huge responsibility that requires a degree of education and thoughtfulness.

      I believe in educating my clients. I don't know about you, but no matter what, I inadvertently end up teaching my clients. Teaching them what a good call to action is. What constitutes a heading. Making sure they know large images are required in certain sections.

      Usually this happen when we're looking over the content they created together. These assumptions come through, and we make sure to address them. We also build a manual for them the explains things, gives specific recommendations.

      IMO we don't need to protect clients from themselves, we need to EDUCATE them.

      0 points
      • Marcel van Werkhoven, 3 years ago

        Educating is important but there's learning a few tricks and applying years of experience and skills. If you have a large enough business for a professional website you want the professional to take care of it.

        I could probably replace my own signal lights if I tried, but I won't. I head out to the garage instead because they're the experts and I don't feel like wasting my time doing that myself. They have the right tools and it takes them about 5 minutes.

        This is the feedback I had gotten back from a lot of my clients 3 - 4 years ago, which made me completely change my approach to our profession. At a minimum you need to invest about 2 years into something before you get good at it. Most people spend an hour a week keeping their site updated at best. They can add a blog, news message or perhaps with some pointers a landing page.

        Some of your clients also have no interest in learning anything about webdesign or websites. They want web designers to do that for them. If you make your clients do everything themselves you're not doing them any favors. Because other businesses that hire professionals to maintain their websites will easily beat them.

        The internet is a heavily competitive market, especially for attention. My clients much rather pay me to create a great lay-out for them as opposed to paying me for learning how to do that. Clients that do need to maintain their own websites (usually because they run an online business or have multi language websites with editors from different countries) get all the training, manuals and video's they need. But that's quite expensive.

        The point in the article is that everyone should have the freedom to edit their own lay-out as they see fit which is an invitation for disaster.

        -1 points