“Paradise pleasure”: is one person enough?

    I want to offer a third point of view on the dialogue about incompetent customers and designers without quotes . In my opinion, the main problem, the root of the evil, due to which there is a misunderstanding between customers and designers, is the lack of an intermediate link in the form of a manager or designer (or his illiteracy). And this lack exists because of the very low threshold for entering the profession and the lack of responsibility for low-quality work.

    Speaking about the lack of responsibility, I’m not talking about responsibility to the customer or higher forces, but about the absence of far-reaching and terrible consequences - unlike professions, for example, a doctor, an airplane pilot or an architect. That is why the entrance to these professions is associated with fundamental education, while web figures work by eye, by trial and error. And almost everything. And one mistake is made by 100% of independent designers and young companies.

    Design as an absolute must

    The mistake is that they start with design. In the best case, from a technical task, which is also about design.

    When building a house or creating a car, they first of all think about the purpose of the product: it will be a garage with a pantry, a country house or a water tower; fast and maneuverable car or pickup truck with a huge trunk - depends on how the product will be used. Creating a website, we create a business tool that should achieve certain business goals of the customer. This is primary, and not the color of the body, the shape of the bumper or the “functionality” (well, oh, I need a car with four wheels, a steering wheel and an internal combustion engine). All product features are just a consequence.business goals. And the clarification of these goals from the customer (he often does not have exact wording), their formalization and the transition from goals to work tasks and functional structure is design .

    Design begins only at the next stage - and it should also correspond to business goals, as well as a functional and informational structure. Thus, the designer is enclosed in a certain framework, which is not limited to visual requirements.

    Gradual decrease in uncertainty

    One of the main meanings of top-down design, from goals to functionality, is to simultaneously smoothly, gradually reduce the level of uncertainty of both the client and the contractor. The client, before ordering a site, already has a certain vision of this site in his head. And it can turn out to be both good (from the point of view of achieving business goals), and not very good.

    By asking the client a question, why does he need a site at all , we get the starting point of all actions, and at the same time the holy grail of argumentation. Not “it's bad because I'm professional,” but “it's bad because you don't need it.” In fact, in a huge number of customer wishes there is a healthy grain, you just need to see it.

    Departing from the goals of creating the product, we move on to its environment (sites of related subjects, competitors) and the audience. The client receives a common vision of the environment in which his site will have to exist, with whom to compete and whom to attract. And the client already at this level begins to understand that a beautiful tail (which he had imagined before) was useless for his brainchild, but strong fins and sharp teeth would be useful.

    Only later, revealing the goals in the form of the site’s working tasks — how and by what means we will achieve the goals in this environment and among this audience — do we understand what functionality will be, what information content of the site as a whole, and the information structure of individual sections and pages what will be the hierarchy of the message on a separate page. The degree of uncertainty has decreased to a minimum, and at each step the client sees the rationale for the decision.

    So how to achieve the customer’s business goals is decided not at the design development stage, but at the design stage.

    Designer and planner - one or more?

    It may seem that the design work may be performed by the designer with certain skills and experience. However, experience shows that a good designer and a good designer are different people in their personal qualities.

    The designer, starting work with the client, is the midwife of the process, he must be completely open, unbiased, correct and his main job is to ask the client the right questions and listen very carefully. Often the customer (since he should not be experienced in Internet designing) only casually mentions facts or goals that can turn the project around 180 degrees. The designer must, until the last moment, be able to abandon the models and designs that have developed in his head if they at some point turn out to be unviable.

    The designer, having received the input information, quickly enough begins to create in his head a vision of the future project, moving away from which it becomes as difficult for him as justifying why the product should look just like that and not otherwise. This is an absolute norm for a creative person, and I would not call it a flaw, rather a feature.

    In general, between the designer and the designer lies, if not the chasm, then at least the usual set of differences between “physicists” and “lyricists”. No one is better, they are just different.

    Who is to blame and what to do?

    I repeat once again, the low threshold for entering the profession, which is possible without a specialized education, is to blame. Well, the youth of the industry as a whole.

    The designer or "designer" from the past topics has, in fact, two ways: to pump their own design and communication skills with the client, or to delegate design and client interaction. My deep conviction is that the growth of professionalism and the overall quality of work is possible rather in the second option.

    When delegating design, the designer receives a lot of bonuses:
    • lack of annoying communication with the client,
    • elimination of 95% of "stupid" requirements from the client,
    • competent and complete assignment for design development,
    • the opportunity to spend your time on development exclusively in the field of design.
    I see the problem so far only in one thing - there is no one else to delegate. The market of freelance designers is relatively narrow, and the names of these people are not well known. The manager, who serves simply as an extra transfer link between the designer and the client, and who does not perform the important and large block of intermediate work in the middle, is simply a harmful distortion of information and a brake on its movement.

    Therefore, I want to finish the article with a few appeals:
    • Do not forget about design and learn design if there is nobody to delegate it!
    • Delegate design to professionals - this will significantly expand your capabilities!
    • And most importantly - enjoy your work!

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