I went to the post 10 ways to make your Web site design project go smoothly thinking that it would be for the big boys. I often do design on my own web sites simply because that’s what I can afford to do, but I’m not all that good at the visual aspects. For my clients, I only do the low cost, very simple sites and either refer or subcontract the more complex ones. (For example, I did the complete design for Tom Hunt Residential Designs and Pine Forest Animal Clinic and subcontracted most of the work for Consider Christianity.)
But it turns out that I can relate to every one of the ten points. I’ve been in error on most of them at some time, and as things stand I can testify that each and every one of these points are good ones in design.
In doing design for a professional organization you may have particular problems with the first point:
#1: Politely keep those who lack a clue out of the process
This is not meant to be nasty, but often professionals who own their own practice or business are pretty thoroughly convinced they are ready to take charge of just about anything. I recall a conversation with one man when I had to persuade him not to order me to do some things that were not a good idea. He had attended a one hour session on web design. Now he was a very, very smart man, so it was simple. I pointed out how much time I spend reading on that kind of work each week, compared it to aspects of his profession, and also noted that if the project were larger, I would hire someone to help me do that part even better, at which point he grinned and said, “I get it. Tell me what we need to do.”
Now you’ll need to be very polite to do this if you’re the designer, and it is critical that you have a good relationship with your client and that they know you accomplish what you say you will. If you’re a professional looking for help, you need to be ready to hear that your limited knowledge of someone else’s profession doesn’t make you the expert. Professionals generally know this; they just don’t deal with it on a daily basis.
All ten of the points in the blog post at 10 Things are great. Go check it out.