5 Things That Make Your Web Designer Sad

Posted by Don Elliott on Jan 11, 2016 9:00:00 AM

5 things that make designers sad

I hope you won’t be surprised when I tell you that, as a web designer, I like it when things look really, really good. What was that cheesy ‘80s commercial quote?

“If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.”

And since I have been a designer specializing in web design for more than a decade, I also really, really care that your site works well and makes sense for the end user. So when I say these things make me sad, I don’t mean I’m personally offended; I’m just bummed I don’t get to give you the best design to meet your objectives.

Here are a few things that will stand between you and the best possible web design, or at least prolong the process:


Telling your designer to, “Make it Pop.”

What on earth does that mean? People who say this generally don’t know what they mean either. More emphasis on something? Something needs to explode or make some sort of sound?

Telling your designer, “I don’t like it.”

This is perfectly acceptable to say…as long as it is followed by a why! Without that, you are asking the designer to just keep guessing. The more you make your designer guess, the longer the solution is going to take and the more you’re going to spend. If you like spending your money as inefficiently as possible, you might want to try a career in politics.

Subjective descriptions.

What “modern” means to you may be completely different than what modern means to someone else. Get descriptive with your descriptive words! In this situation, more is absolutely better. 

Technical Suggestions.

Make the logo bigger, outline that shape, put a glow behind it, use the bevel and emboss tool! Describe the symptoms instead of trying to prescribe the treatment! Let your designer determine the best plan of attack in terms of remedying the problem. 

Committee Decisions.

If you’ve got a committee you have to loop into the process before you can sign off on something, woe is you. A wise man once said, “one of us is never as dumb as all of us.” Feedback from an entire committee will ensure that every possible suggestion is accounted for, and it will also ensure that every criticism will conflict with another criticism, rendering your designer completely unable to forge a path forward. On the bright side, the time the entire process will take from brainstorming to finished design is sure to increase exponentially with each committee member you add! If that isn’t appealing, you might want to petition for a point man on the project that has been given the authority to field committee requests, make sense of them, and translate it into focused, useful feedback.

Don Elliott

Written by Don Elliott

Don holds a degree in Multimedia and Web Design from the Art Institute of Seattle and has worked in web design for nearly two decades. He is also an award-winning illustrator.

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