Oppression of the Web Designing Masses

No this doesn’t have a religious agenda…

Time and time again I have to keep reminding myself that “the customer is always right”; but there are a lot of times in my web design and marketing career that I beg to differ on this outdated mantra and yet give in to the old standby; reluctantly.

Experience matters, doesn’t it?

Typically when I give my designer(s) a creative brief for a custom template, I try to be generic in nature stating the target audience, the business focus, primary and secondary links and the call to action(s).  In the past, 9 times out of 10 when I get the comp back for client review, it’s approved with very minor updates; lately that number has decreased in that the client had a certain view in their mind of what it should look like.  The masses are oppressing and it’s stressing me out.

I’m better with examples…

I reviewed a splash and an internal comp with a client this morning.   With some hesitation, she says that the sales guy didn’t tell her it would look like this.  I tell her that we need to trust the designer and the sales guy is merely providing guideline elements, but still, she insists that this wasn’t what she had in mind.  A part of me wants to fight this battle and had it been a ‘basic’ comp creation, I would have fought harder, but since they are long running customers and it IS in both of our best interests to comply, I complied.

This goes along with another post I had in mind, along the lines of How to Win Friends…(Carnegie); sometimes it isn’t worth the battle if it is just to prove a point.  In this case, the ‘point’ is so subjective that it wasn’t worth the battle.

In another case, I’ve been going back and forth with another production team that wants us to create a fully Flashed site.  Their client has been adamant about using their team but is stuck on a low price (I want that Corvette, but I only want to pay for a Chevette.  One week later…ok, I STILL want the Corvette, but I will pay for a Malibu.  One week later…ok, I still want the Corvette, minus the fancy wheels and I will pay for a stripped down Silverado.)  Red flags go off in my head left and right.  He has just copy on the pages and still he wants Flash; he doesn’t care about search engine optimization, he just wants a site that has horizontal navigation that goes beep and boop when you click on the links – really!   Again, I believe I know what’s right in this case, but should I give in and put on my high heels and fishnet stockings?  Or should I fight for decent websites everywhere?  I am open to both models.

Then there’s Template Monster…

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Success Principles – Jack Canfield

Your elevator speech saves you and your potential client time. Relevant resources will gravitate towards you and others who don’t need your resources will disqualify themselves.

Answer these questions:
1. Who do you help?
2. How do you help them?
3. What result do you provide?