Why We Design the Way We Do
Have you ever seen a billboard with font that was too hard to read or maybe you passed it but you had no idea what they were selling? Have you ever requested something from a designer or artist and they were more concerned about their own artistic style than your desires? Have you ever requested a service from an expert, but you felt that you were more informed or could do a better job? I know I have…
When I take my tax documents to my accountant, I fully trust him to do my taxes. I don’t question any advice he gives me because I know that he knows more than I do about taxes. I have used Turbo Tax, but that does not make me an accountant. I own three businesses and so my taxes can get pretty hairy and so I need someone that does this 40+ hours a week every, 52 weeks out of the year. That is what I do. I design 6 days a week. When I am not designing, I am thinking about design. I am scouring Pinterest and reading design books. I am learning about the process of design and how other people are inspired to create great art. When my clients trust me to do my best for them, using the years of expertise not only in the design world but also in business and relationships, then I can bring them the best solution to reach their goals.
Google Page Speed and Search Engine Optimization Matters
When I first started doing web design in 2007 I designed sites for bloggers. The pages were simple and my clients weren’t trying to generate revenue, they just wanted something pretty. Then I started working with entrepreneurs and small business owners and they wanted to increase their customer base with a current website. That was easy enough. Then I started working with larger businesses who wanted not only a scalable content management system, but also security and great design. Move into 2016 and as a web designer I have to design a site that looks good on multiple resolutions, desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. I have to know about search engine optimization and how to create a site that looks beautiful, that is content rich and is fast and light. Basically websites used to be big sluggish Cadillacs and now they need to be nimble Ferrari’s.
Design Should be Convenient and Simple
I often have clients that will ask me to create something that I know won’t work well for them. An image that is arbitrary or a phrase that is too hard to understand should not be on your website. People like things convenient and simple – that is why fast food restaurants bundle meals together by number. At Chick-fil-A I get a number one with an unsweet tea. Simple.
Know When to Say When
Have you ever been to a hair salon where all of the stylists look like their hair has been “over-worked”. Did you see Michael Jackson in the years before he died? Some people don’t know when it is time to stop. I created a motion video for a client and he sent it out to 20 people to get feedback. He got back multiple minor suggestions, but in the end the suggestions would have made very little impact on the overall message. Finally his secretary said, “I think we are trying to move from excellence to perfection.” I almost screamed out, “THANK YOU!” because she was right. We had already gone over budget on the project and the final video was amazing. There were so many wonderful elements already in the video and the people who viewed the video and provided feedback didn’t understand the reasons behind why certain elements were done in a specific way.
When it comes to design, I have a reason for everything I do. Nothing is an afterthought. When I create a logo I have normally tried multiple colors, placement of elements, and a myriad of combinations, however, the client will often say, “What about putting that swirl over there.” Invariably, once they see it with their suggested changes, they have me change it back.
When I create something, my goal is always to bring my client the best. That means thinking through their budget, their customers, technology, and longevity of the product as well as maintenance. Technology changes often. Trends come and go. Art is timeless.