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No Accounting for Taste...

6:08 pm on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Have you ever had this happen? You convince a customer to get a site redesign and you spend a month building an excellent site with good color balance and an overall tasteful balance.

Then you hand the site over to the client and when you check on it a month later, whoever updates their site internally has added the little animated email icon or the dog running across the bottom of the page!?!

I'm looking into Macromedia's new Contribute because I guess you can lock certain parts of the page and they can only edit the sections you designate. (Still doesn't keep them from adding that damn dog to their editable section.)

When I call the client on it they say, "But I think it's cute.."

6:10 pm on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Proving once again:

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink."


7:07 pm on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member mivox is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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As someone on these forums said (I think)... your job is not to make the horse drink, but to make him think he's thirsty. ;) You can't force them to give up little wingdings if they like them, but over time you might be able to make them like wingdings a lot less.

I've had clients with running dogs, animated email icons, and the whole nine yards. A couple years later, they reappeared out of the blue, asking for a clean, professional site design this time around...

If the client makes your design look silly, or insists on a silly design to begin with, just leave out that little "site design by..." part at the bottom of the page. Their money still spends fine.

8:19 pm on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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It's true, their money does spend just fine.

But what we've been doing to limit the addition of "animated dogs" is to go over in great detail why every single element of the design in question is there. For example:

"the logo is positioned top left to be read first by western & north american readers, it's size is 1/5 of the page to the fold to be strong but not overwhelming, and balanced with the image on the other side...left hand navigation menu because its the most common type but note we repeat it at the top and bottom in two different formats for maximum usability across a varied audience...two interior boxes, one for new events that's left hand and second only to the menu, and the other for commonly referenced pages"

and so on. The more we can justify every decision about placement, the less argument we get - when we do, it's coached in terms of what *we've* set up. For example, the client would then ask, "OK, so what happens if shuffle this box with that box?" vs. "what if we take all the boxes out and put in a big flashing cat!" or whatever.

We're the professionals, up on all the reasons why things are the way they are. Positioning ourselves as such not only makes our job easier, it gives value to our wages.

But yes, in the end if they want the animated dog, and you show them how the eye tracks there first before anything and undermines the positioning of everything else on the page...you just sigh internally and except it. We actually leave the name off all our sites now - missing good advertising? Maybe, but we never found it brought in any work in the 3 years we tried it. Maybe it was too early, maybe the sites weren't high profile enough. People will contact your client if they really want to know who designed it...now *that's* a motivated buyer, better to spend your time with.


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