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Rebuttal against website designer slamming

By: carlos martinez at Visual Animus

Submitted on Sun, Aug 12th, 2007 12:00 am

For those that like to slam website designers/developers.

I note there are many comments in the e-world that simply like to insult, put down, and negate the use of website designers when establishing an online presence. The main criteria that many of these people use to “anti-compliment” designers is the fact that they say that they disappear, vanish, and all of a sudden their designated designer is no where to be found.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is some truth to this as many designers have already proven, but lots of times there are other factors involved. In many cases the designer is simply not interested in designing, they are more interested in the deposit and the paycheck that follows behind it. A designer should give the impression of being just as excited as you are to get your new site online. After all, the client is the one who is offering the opportunity, the designer should get excited just in the fact that you are providing them with another account to add to their portfolio, whence increasing their reputation and credibility. So all in all, the client should note the initial and consistent project enthusiasm that their designer shows.

“Anyone and Everyone, would get excited over a new client though, especially if that client is willing to give you money,” you say. Again, there is some truth to that, thus bringing us to my next point, “Professionalism.” What kind of guarantee do you have that the designer you choose will not disappear?, well, that should all be in the paperwork. Do you have paperwork?, an agreement for the design?, do you even know what you’re being charged for other than just saying “I’m being charged for my website being built?"In my experience as a website designer/developer, I have noted that one of the single most important factors deemed necessary when opening a new account is, as the designer, to provide a detailed report of what will be done, why it will be done, by when it will be done , and what happens if either party (designer or client)doesn’t complete their tasks. One phrase that everyone has heard when doing business is, “Do you have it in writing?” So, do you? do you know the exact process of what will happen in the construction of your site design and more importantly why the designer is doing what they are doing. You above all should know this before anything. After all, have you ever paid for anything more than $20 and not asked for a receipt? If you were going to get your house built, or take out a loan, would you sign before finding out what is involved in these scenarios? I think not.

The above mentioned scenarios are just to prevent yourself from dealing with a false impression or a designer that is truly not interested in building a good reputation in his field. A few more tips to help you in building designer confidence are as follows:

Ask them these questions:

1. Will my site be w3c compliant? W3C is the WWW Consortium, they are the ones that set website design, development standards.

2. What Development tools are used and how? This will show you somewhat of the designers experience, there are many all in one programs where anyone (even a monkey) can design an appealing site. This is important to find out so that you may see if they use templates. How unique will your site really be?

3. What size websites have you worked on in the past? This is an important question due the fact that you want a designer or design team that can take on a large task if needed.

4. What browsers will my site be compatible with? Since there is such a large variety of internet browsers available, you want to make sure that everyone and anyone can access your site. Will your customers be using Internet Explorer, AOL’s IE, Netscape Nav., Firefox, Opera,…. ?

5. What Search Engine Optimization do you do to help my ranking? This is a very important question since the result that you’re looking for is ultimately high ranking. Now, it’s true that there is only so much that a designer/developer can do to assist in your site coming up in higher ranking before the rest becomes up to the search engines. But, at very minimum your designer should implement the standard meta tags, including keywords, description, modification date, and the meta content type tag.

6. How will you provide a way for my customers to contact me? A designer should always provide as a suggestion a contact page, most designers will provide you with a contact form included in your web design package. I for example, provide a 15 field contact form with every project. After all, what’s the point of having a site, if no one can contact you through it.

7. How user friendly and navigable will my website be? The designer should always provide a navigation layout prior to setting up the navigation system. What I recommend to my clients is for them to take a copy of the navigation and picture it themselves, if they can’t mentally navigate through what I have set up, or if in the case of a drop down nav. system they can’t pinpoint where a button would be based on it’s category button, then you can safely assume that other visitors will have the same issue.

8. How will you capture the interest of my customers upon entry to my site? It has been proven that the average visitor to a site gains or loses interest within the first 6 seconds of visiting your site. What will grab their attention upon entry? Will they stay at your site or will they move on to the next site with a more interesting introduction. Another main factor in this topic is, how long will it take for your page to load? How many times have you waited 5 minutes for a web page to load?

About the Author

carlos martinez
Visual Animus
Carlos Martinez (Owner, Designer for Visual Animus Web and Graphic Design) Articles to help anyone looking to have a designer create a website for them.

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