I am (as you may guess by my blog) a web designer. When I build websites for my clients I know that almost always my clients are not super web savvy people. After all, if they were, they’d do it themselves.
But being a knowledgeable, professional web designer and working with people who are not poses a unique set of problems. When I take my car into a shop to get serviced, say for an oil change, there is only one proper way to really do an oil change. You can go with certain filters, certain oils but as far as the end result, there is only one correct final outcome. Guy changes oil, car works, I’m happy.
With web design there is nothing of the sort. Web design is equal parts art and science (and sometimes, I’m convinced, just a smidge of voodoo and masochism). There is a lot to know and web based technology changes so fast there is no way one person can be an expert in all of it…or even a fraction of it. So we choose our areas. With me its HTML, CSS, PHP, WordPress and the like. I’m a strong mid-level PHP programmer. I’ve spent a lot of time with WordPress. I dream in HTML. You get my point.
Not only do I know the technical stuff, but I’ve been around long enough and have just enough of an artistic eye that I know what looks good, and works good, and what doesn’t it.
But my clients don’t always know that…or do they?
See I’m always torn. Case in point, I designed a fairly nice logo for a client recently that I think really captured what they need to convey with their website. Correct font, nice colors, conveying certain emotions. It was simple, it was nice. They came back and wanted their logo in what might as well have been Comic Sans, because they loved it that way and felt their clients would to.
It was hideous…to me.
So I always struggle here, with who’s right and who’s wrong? On the one hand you have me, a seasoned pro at web design with an artistic flair. On the other hand you have Grandma Jane, wanting a website for her knitted baby clothes (not really I’m making that stuff up) and she has this God-awful, hideous look in mind that she just loves.
So who’s really right? I don’t know. My selfish side says “PICK ME!” but my logic kicks in and says “Grandma Jane is designing for people just like her…it may be an unattractive font to you, but her peers are gonna probably love it…so get over yourself.”
I don’t know, it’s Friday and I’m just wondering aloud here…probably more about this later.
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want, But If You Try Sometimes, You Just Might Find, You Get What You Need.”