The customer is always right
So the old saying goes "the customer is always right", and web development is not an exception to the rule. Our jobs as web designers and developers is to deliver a final product that the customer is happy to pay for and use for themselves or their business. Now obviously, not everyone is a web designer, so you might be thinking why on earth would you involve the clients in the website design phase? Well here's why this is a win-win situation to keep everyone happy.
So by skipping out on keeping a client involved when you're designing their website because you think it'll be easier or quicker to just get on with it, you're just asking for a headache.
So imagine this, you go to meet a client, they want a website, you're a website designer. Great.
You figure out what the client wants, or think they want, and you make a vague list of some features, colours and content, along with a few sample websites for you to build your layout off of.
Then you go off to start your design and you just start building. A few days later, you're done. You've built a website that you think looks good, it meets the shaky specifications you came up with and now you present to the client. You did all of this only to find out the client thinks this is hideous, you've missed the mark completely on what they want. Now you've just wasted 30+ hours on designing and developing this website to be told it's no good, and you need to change it.
What you should be doing
Here's where the model of design first comes in. Don't just rush into a project like an idiot, planning and design may take you a few hours but it will save you days in backtracking and redesigning once you inevitably screw up and the client isn't happy.
What you should be doing is make a plan, draw your ideas out on paper and get your client to pick the ones they like and sign off on them. Once that's done, build a prototype with Photoshop or the photo editing software of your choice, then send the client theses designs so they can see what the final product will look like.
It's way easier to make these designs and make changes to mockups than to build the entire thing only to be told it's not what they wanted. Spend some time planning to get your clients feedback and eventual approval before you do anything. This should only take you a few hours and it will save you days of headaches and meetings.
Get feedback, build a relationship with your clients and aim to please everyone. Working in this strategic way is exactly what we're about at Wehi Web Design. Keep yourself sane, your clients happy and don't waste time building things people don't want.
If you want to talk to us about a current or new website development you can find our contact details here.
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