That answer seems a bit counter productive for a web professional. Why won’t I? Here are three reasons, and what will change that answer.
Reason 1: It’s Their Website
I know – you bought the domain, you pay for the hosting. It seems unfair! But it’s not your website – it’s theirs. Yes your customers – the folks who come to do something that you want them to do. Trust me, I want to work with you, but you must understand this foundational fact. You aren’t your website’s user – your customers are. Once we agree on that, we can work together.
Reason 2: You Don’t Know Your Customers
Even I don’t know my customers as well as I think I do. The great news is, you can know them on a level you haven’t before. What it takes is asking them success-tested questions that dig deep into why they do (or don’t) purchase or buy into whatever you’re selling (whether it’s product, information, or cause).
I know what you’re thinking. That you do know them, they talk to you all the time. The problem with this is, you aren’t your website. When it’s just them and your website, the truth comes out. When you ask the right questions, frustrations (and successes) rise to the surface.
Reason 3: I Want To Be Part Of Your Success
Ten years ago I built websites to client specifications, or just how I felt like they should look (when the client allowed that free rein). I learned that these websites follow a predictable pattern:
- A website that doesn’t deliver, which leads to
- Client disappointment, and
- An endless ritual of redesign, which never really solves the core issue —
- The customer was not involved correctly in the design process, especially at the beginning.
Sadly, this is how many designers and do-it-yourself-ers still create websites. I bet you’ve visited plenty!
I like success, and I”m sure you do, too. I truly don’t care how “beautiful” I can make a website, if it doesn’t succeed as part of your organizational goals, it’s bad for you and I can’t point to it as a “model” of work well done by me.
Yes, this is the only place where you can be “all about me” – if you place your successful goals and objectives over arbitrary inputs* – give me a call or drop me a line. We can achieve great things together!
* What are arbitrary inputs? Things like “make that red button green – we like green” and “we’re not getting enough traffic to our widget page, so let’s put a banner on our home page, plus lots of links!” These are inputs (requirements) that are arbitrary (they have no basis in research or fact).