just – say no

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 in Thoughts

Before I could stop myself I heard myself speaking as a potential client saying, “but they just want….” I stopped right there. Not that I would have had much time to say anything else because my boyfriend was ready to stop me in my tracks. I shushed him half embarrassed that I didn’t know better while trying to save face saying that I did. The thing is – knowing it and doing it are two different things. (I grew up hearing my mom say that and variations of it.)

Add the word ‘just’ to the list of four letter words. It’s a sneaky little word that tries to justify bad design in exchange for … I don’t know what. Maybe it’s the opportunity to bring forth yet again that Catholic guilt I’ve been dragging around my whole life.”Just do what they want, they’re paying you after all all.” I hear those words in my head every so often and it’s my own voice speaking them. But just like Catholicism didn’t fit my life, neither does design for the sake of the client. I’m a user experience designer for heaven’s sake!

Perhaps I need to filter my potential client base a little better. More likely I need to work on my design pitch to attract the right clients in the first place. In the interim, here’s my passionate rant about the types of people I think are the ‘right ones’.

If you’re hiring me, you’re hiring me for my skill as a designer and aptitude for knowing how a user wants to interact with your site. Don’t hire me because you want a website. Plenty of people can build you a website. Heck, with a little time, you can build yourself a website. Hire me because you believe my talent and experience can make your brand and your site better than you can even imagine. If you’re comparing me to your cousin’s friend of a friend who can do it for $500, you should probably go with them. Recognize that just because your favourite colour is purple, that it doesn’t mean that your brand should be. Be excited about co-creation, conversation and learning. Above all else, trust in me to do my best with your site so you can take the time to do what you do best for your product or service.

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