Not shit Web Design

Designers are perfectionists. If it’s not pixel perfect, or people want to change our crafted design, we can get quite angry. I’ve compiled a list of phrases we don’t like:

  • Can we make the logo bigger?
  • Can we make the telephone number bigger?
  • Can we make [buttons/text/header/links] bigger?
  • [PDF] Where are my rounded corners?

You get the idea. We are employed as designers so letting us get on with what we do best is always going to benefit clients and most importantly, their users. But clients don’t always understand that. I was thinking, if only we could just say “that’s shit web design” to our clients, and they accepted it. I remember looking at a website which made the rounds on Twitter which had some brilliantly witty written copy. You don’t get much more tongue and cheek than what’s right on that page.

If you take control, you’ll end up with a huge lump of dog muck, and people will laugh at it behind your back.

Not everyone understands…

Sometimes clients don’t understand the mechanics, experience, thought and effort which go into a design and that’s fine, it’s up to us guys to sort that. Why we changed the logos size and positioning, why we tweaked the typeface blah blah. It’s usually because of the following points (another bullet list!)

  • Speed
    Websites need to load fast and we subconsciously think about this. It’s automatic. This also directly relates to the UX. It’s NOT just about design, it’s about the whole experience¬†including¬†your slow creaky server.
  • Compatibility
    It’s a lingering thought. Will this work in IE? Probably not.
  • Typography
    Becoming ever more important on the web thanks to amazing resources such as the Google Font API <http://www.google.com/webfonts> and CSS3 stuff.
  • Interaction Design/Graphic Design/[Insert word here] Design
    We have the quality to code just about anything up in CSS. We also like to make things easy for ourselves by thinking about this in the design. In inexperienced graphic designer (no matter how good they are) will struggle to design something for the web for a coder to build. I’ve seen it all too often.
  • User Experience
    There’s that title again but it always applies no matter what the client says. We think about how navigation/cta/branding/information is affected by different elements on the page. Personally, I’m also a bit of an analytics junkie, which can often help decipher the users needs.
  • Many other factors

Remember not to take the clients views as gospel, but use them to perfect and create something everyone is happy with, including your users. Don’t be afraid to tell people it looks shit, but also push forward with critical feedback which will help progress a project and show your quality!