Your website is not the Mona Lisa.
Web design is an art, but the process of web design itself is not.
As a web designer, your job is to solve your client’s problem.
Art is about self-expression. Art is created for the artist. Good web design is created for the user.
Your website is not for YOU, it’s for your USERS. The people who are giving you money. And because they are the ones giving you money you should make sure that they have the best darn experience they possibly can on your website.
Next time your client asks you to make the logo bigger ask them, “How does making your logo bigger make it easier for your clients to give you money?”
Let’s be real.
The reason why your client wants a website or a new website for their business is because they believe that through your efforts you’re going to help them make a return on their investment in YOU.
Sometimes you have to make the logo bigger, sometimes you have to make things “pop”, but is this good design or are you fulfilling someone elses artistic dream?
As a web designer or developer, it’s your job to tell your client why making the logo bigger isn’t the right thing to do.
I’ve seen many otherwise good design botched by obvious design faux paus because either the designer or the client involved in the process somehow confused their role.
I used to turn PSDs into WordPress sites for a local agency. They were primarily a print and graphic design shop who decided to build websites just because they were good at using Photoshop and Illustrator.
These were very artistic and aesthetically pleasing, the clients loved them, the designers loved them, and the users hated it.
See what I’m getting at here?
What both client and developer failed to realize is that their beautiful design lacked calls to action, there was no content architecture, there was no thought put into how the micro interactions on the site would play out.
If you’re a designer who sees every web design project as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, it’s time to review your product offerings.
Your job is to make sure your client makes money, even if it means telling your client no.
Even if that means that your super cool fly-in tie-dye navigation bar with 3D animations has to get shelved.
Ask yourself what problem am I solving with this design decision?
Are you just adding fluff to the site just to tickle your own artistic ego?
It’s time for a reality check.
It’s 2015, Why Am I Writing About This?
Even if the age of UX, even as the web is maturing I still see “web design” agencies out doing a major disservice to their clients by not telling them. Even worse is when the offender is the agency themselves.
Thankfully, most web professionals have truly begun to understand that the user is the most important person in the process even if they are the least visible.
How has your approached to design changed over the years? Feel free to share your thoughts below.