“In other words, could you just…trust me?”

Filed in Web Design by Matt McGee on September 12, 2006 0 Comments

As an employee of a small business, I wear many hats: SEO Guy, SEM Guy, Web Designer, Amateur Programmer/Coder, Customer Service Rep., Client Relationship Manager, Marketer, Writer, and many others. Without question, the hat that involves the most frustration is Web Designer.

Why?

A lot of reasons, some of which are specific to having other small businesses as clients, and some of which are more general.

Small business owners are often on a tight budget, and many don’t appreciate the value of a professional web site design. They don’t realize that you have about one second to earn a visitor’s trust. They also usually have easy access to the secretary’s son or daughter, who “knows how to make web pages.” All of that often makes my job more frustrating than it needs to be.

But there’s a bigger picture … namely, very few non-designers understand designers. (And by the way, I’m far from an expert at design. But I do think I have nice taste and an eye for what works.) They don’t understand what we do, why we do it, or how we do it. It’s a bit like magic in that way, and that’s why I love this: Designer Michael Bierut shares the real truth about his design process.

When I do a design project, I begin by listening carefully to you as you talk about your problem and read whatever background material I can find that relates to the issues you face. If you’re lucky, I have also accidentally acquired some firsthand experience with your situation. Somewhere along the way an idea for the design pops into my head from out of the blue. I can’t really explain that part; it’s like magic. Sometimes it even happens before you have a chance to tell me that much about your problem! Now, if it’s a good idea, I try to figure out some strategic justification for the solution so I can explain it to you without relying on good taste you may or may not have. Along the way, I may add some other ideas, either because you made me agree to do so at the outset, or because I’m not sure of the first idea. At any rate, in the earlier phases hopefully I will have gained your trust so that by this point you’re inclined to take my advice. I don’t have any clue how you’d go about proving that my advice is any good except that other people — at least the ones I’ve told you about — have taken my advice in the past and prospered. In other words, could you just sort of, you know…trust me?

(found via Kottke)

[tags]web design, design, small business[/tags]

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