Living in the Now!

Learning to enjoy my life more!

Getting it done!

on 02/03/2010

The other day The Little Web Factory (he he he) was contacted to make a site by an old friend who I’ve been asked to make sites for in the past for various different projects he’s worked on. In the past when ever I get asked to do things like this I get an initial burst of energy and start working on a mock-up and that normally done within a day or two. Once that’s done I start working on the design template to get the page working in a browser and make sure it looks good but when I’m at this stage I am also thinking about the information I need from the client, basically all the copy and pictures or brief for the pictures to be used in the site.

Mockup for Burned Audio

Mockup for Burned Audio

Trouble I find with most people who have never had to employ or ask a web designer to make something for them is they don’t really know what to ask for or what to tell you. I usually get told “make me a site, I want it to be about my business and I want it to look nice.”  what they don’t tell you is what ideas they have or any clue as to what they want. So as the designer I got to guess and make a load of mockups with different styles which is fine because that’s part of what I do.

Problem is I’m not a professional designer and I’ve never worked as one so I don’t know what I should be asking the client , I’ve heard pro’s use design briefs but when ever I try to get my client’s to do one they are quite dismissive and say “oh I’m sure what ever you do is fine!” that’s when communication starts to break down and I start losing interest in the project.

It’s not the clients fault they are obviously concentrating on other things but if they are going to charge some one with completing a task then they should give some attention and some work toward completing the task. One of the things I always tell clients when they first ask me to do a web site is that I will need them to provide the copy (text and photo content) for the site as I feel its unfair to expect me to know what they want to say about them selves on the site. I will tell them if I feel something is not right or could be expressed another way but I cannot write it for them. Problem is a lot of my clients havent thought about this even though when we first talk about the site I tell them I need them to do this.But they don’t do anything about it and then the project comes to a halt.

Problem is then I don’t want to contact the client about anything to do with the site because I feel like I’m pestering them and the last time I spoke to them about it I told them I’m waiting on them so they are aware of the situation. Then out of nowhere 6 to 12 months later I’m looking through my hard drive come across the work I did and think “do they still want it?” and then contact them to see if they are still wanting they site. Almost always the response is “no” or “we got someone else to do it” so then I move the folder to a place where I can use it from my own purposes and as an example of my work.

So now a friend has asked me to make him a site, I want to make this and I want to help so now I’m going to look into what I did wrong and what the pro’s do to deal with the clients. So I can help him make the site he needs and I get the help and information I need to make it.

Neil Griffiths

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