You’ve Got Web Design & Development Wrong
The pressure of having a successful website is tremendous that almost everyone (personal and business alike) is demanding for an online presence. However, being in a web development company, I couldn’t help but react on some misguided notions about web design and development which I outlined below:
1. Web design is easy.
That’s easy for you to say. But to tell you the truth, it’s the most harmful misconceptions among non-technical people. Look, web developers studied and acquired their degree in Information Technology and studying the intricate details of web design and development is not that easy, much more to practice. Surely, a beautiful website looks it was done effortlessly. But what you don’t know is every effort was done in designing the interface, every button and link, and even the text and images, and how it should be navigated to create a beautiful user experience. And when I say “every effort”, it means hours of coding and designing. It takes a lot of talent and creativity to put together the website you’re dreaming of.
2. The web designer & developer should always be on call
People think that web developers are technical people, robot-like, and not creatives like other artists (writers, photographers, architects, painters, graphic designers, etc.). Well, web designers and developers are considered creatives as well. Some of them choose this career because they have a passion for the craft and choose to work on their own time. So don’t expect them to be productive during the usual 9 to 5 office hours. If your web designer or developer is more productive at night, don’t expect a 9:00 am email to be answered immediately. If the developer doesn’t work on Sundays, kindly wait until Monday for that request. So at the beginning of the project, let each party lay down their expectations about time. This way, you’ll know what time to expect emails, calls, or other methods of communication.
3. Everyone should get involved
It is important to keep everybody on the same page. However, not everyone has to be in every meeting. Entrepreneurs tend to update everyone in the process by asking web designers and developers to join development meetings even though they shouldn’t be. It would be better to keep the meetings to appropriate members, those who are directly involved in a particular phase. Developers don’t need to know what content your website should have. And your content writers don’t need to know how your website should be programmed.
4. The website is done, so is the job
Web development is not just a one-time, big-time gig. Yes, the website is done, but don’t assume that everything else will follow. The Internet is always changing, so websites have to be continuously compliant with best practices and trends. Also, you should watch for broken links, SEO ranking, web traffic, etc. Web designers and developers create websites that should be nurtured and maintained over time. Now, it’s the entrepreneur’s job to nurture the website. It’s not the job for web developers to market the website for you. Entrepreneurs need online marketers to do that.
5. Web designers and developers should do what clients tell them to
The customer is always right, and many entrepreneurs use this adage in calling the shots. After all, it’s their money they’re spending. But that’s not necessarily true. Most entrepreneurs don’t know the principles of design and development — web designers and developers do. So these entrepreneurs should trust their web designers and developers when in comes to beauty and functionality. And please, fussy entrepreneurs, you don’t need to micro-manage these developers.
6. Anyone can build a website
There are website builders available online and this DIY concept had led to this misconception. These website builders are for individual bloggers, start-ups, and small businesses. But if your business is something medium to large scale, you need a professional web developer to create your company website. There are functionalities that are not available in those DIY site builders like shopping carts and database management systems. Web developers build webpages from scratch and they cater to the business’ needs incorporating the functionalities of your retail store or business agency. They understand that your website should be an extension of your office or store. Therefore, whatever you’re doing in a physical office or store should also be available online. And they could program that for you.
7. Keeping up with the Joneses might work
Surely, watching your competitors closely works in any business but that doesn’t mean you need to copy their website. While there may be some web elements that are impressive, competitor’s website should only serve as an inspiration and not a design template. Just look at what works with your competitor and see how you could come up with to catch up with the competition. Trust your web designer and developer to capture that inspiration so they could create something that is uniquely yours. Also, most people hate copycats.
8. Web design is cheap
Because it was done in two days using a template on WordPress it doesn’t mean it’s cheap. Many people don’t understand that the kind of talent needed to create a wonderful website costs money. Of course you have to pay for a domain name for your brand, web hosting and management services, the web design and development. It’s an investment.
Do you agree with my list? Write down your comments below.