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Whether you’re the client searching for a website or a website designer or developer, or maybe you are the website designer or developer beginning that relationship with a new client, the first hurdle that needs to be overcome is the proverbial “where do we go from here” state of mind.
With this “new breed” of clientele making its presence on the marketplace, we as web designers and developers need to adapt to this change and at the same time, those of you reading this article from the clientele perspective, also need to meet us half way. What I mean by this is, as designers or developers, in the past, we would meet with the client personally, disappear for a while, and then emerge again, miraculously, website in hand and ready to go. This is the turnkey concept at its finest. While this is still the preferred method for many businesses and corporations today, we are beginning to see a trend that is steering away from this.
Being able to meet in the middle means that the designer or developer needs to pay much more attention to the wants, needs, desires and design criteria that the client has in mind. The other half of that equation, and again from this author’s experience, this being the hardest part to bring together, is for the client to take the time out of his or her busy schedule to address the issues concerns and questions from the designer or developer. Once these two halves of the equation come together, the result is magnificent. The designer or developer is no longer wondering whether or not the completed project is what the client actually intended it to be, and the other side of that coin is, the client, having been involved as much as possible in the design process, is much more comfortable at the time of turnover.
I equate this entire process to the mental image of shopping for a car. You can go to a car lot and just pick one out. Basically, you get what you get. This is what’s available, do the best you can with it. The same is true with no customer or client involvement in the design process of the website. The other option is to go back to that car lot, see what’s available, make your notes of your likes and dislikes, wants and needs, desires, functionality, color, radio, types of Interior, etc., etc…. you get the idea. Now, apply the same concept to the design and development of your website. It is this author’s opinion, that if the two sides of the equation can meet, the sum of those two parts will equate to an end product that is exactly what the client wanted and expected. Just the same as when that new car arrives, complete with all the amenities that you had ordered.
This concept, implemented correctly, can have the ability to remove the stresses from both the designer or developer and the client. If the two are able to work together effectively, within a short period of time, the designer or developer will actually begin to think along the same lines as the client and will present concepts and ideas to the client that are, so to speak, prequalified in the sense that the designer or developer has a better understanding of the overall needs of the client.
Finding a web design or development service that both understand this concept and is implementing it, can be tricky. However, it is imperative that the client seeks one out and retains those services in order to be presented with the best possible website and Internet marketing tools that are available today.
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