Why We Say, "No"
If you are looking for a couple of ‘yes men’ - then we are not your design studio. We have had clients who were somewhat surprised when we “pushed-back” on requests that we did not agree with. As a design studio, we believe engaging in this kind of dialogue of ideas is essential to the integrity of our service.
We’re not overly aggressive types here, so if we disagree with one of your design requests or revisions, we’ll usually give you a soft ‘no’, such as “we don’t recommend this” and an explanation as to why that is the case. Still, we’ve had customers surprised that we are reluctant to immediately implement their requests submitted when they counter our judgment . Although some believe the old adage “the customer is always right”, in web design work this is not always the case.
Interestingly, those who have been involved with design work most easily understand this concept and expect us to “pushback”. We were hired for our expertise and it’s why we are being paid. Although it is true that we won’t always get everything 100% perfect the first time, all of the time, we truly know what we are doing in terms of design and User Interface. We’ve had enough experience to know what works, and to be honest, we’ve made enough mistakes to know what doesn’t. Usually, if we miss something it is caused by something unique about your product or company that we didn’t fully understand. Perhaps it is the value you place on one item over another, or a particular way that clients feel about the your product. We certainly welcome any and all input that can help us get your design just right.
It should be noted that good website design is not just about making things pretty in a browser. We serve a specific goal with relation to the information about the products or services we represent on sites. The interpretation between the end user and your product is at the heart of our design process.
We feel our goal is first and foremost to the larger objective of the site. If your site is geared toward sales, and you are asking us to do something in the design that is going to discourage the user from easily buying the product on the site, we are going to tell you that. We’d much rather debate over the details of the site design during the collaboration phase than have the site not achieve the sales objective once the site goes live.
We believe that providing alternatives to our client’s own design ideas actually allows the client to feel more comfortable to make suggestions. When clients know that we will be honest with them regarding the relative merits and drawbacks of their own ideas in relationship to the design they will be freer to make recommendations knowing that we’ll be there to prevent them from making mistakes.
Finally, we feel our ability to provide “pushback” is important for one further reason. We are passionate about our work and driven by our mission to improve the internet and the real world applications through the virtual spaces we create together. Our motivations are as much about making the lives of web users easier and achieving the goals of our clients as they are about pleasing individual clients. This is what we love to do and what we do every day.
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