2015 is the year.
Not many people got into the 2014 vibe, but there’s something about this year that people are just strapping on decent bras, pulling on their Big Girl Knickers and heading on over to For-Realz Town, Chuffing Great Big Timesville. And websites need to come along for that ride too.
One of the strangest things I hear when working with people is, “but I’m not very good with design”. And 2015 needs to be the year that THAT particular line needs to be shot in the face and buried under the neighbours patio.
“Er, that’s OK isn’t it?” you might think. “They just don’t really get the whole ‘design’ thing”.
Ah, but you see, “but I’m not very good with design” is in fact your common-or-garden Big Old Pile of Wank, and the reason is this:
I ask many questions in a detailed consultation – I have to, to really understand my client, to understand their work, their ideal clients, and ultimately, how they envisage their site working and looking.
My clients KNOW what they’re looking for. They know what they like to see. They know what their clients want to see. They know good web design (and other design) when they see it (because, HELLO, they wouldn’t have hired me if that weren’t the case… hahaha, modesty is so overrated.)
My clients can whittle off a whole series of sites they like and why they like them. They can tell me in quite strong detail what they want everything to look like and how they want particular things to work. But at some point in the conversation with me, it’s like Mrs Inner Bitch Voice rears her head and says, “oh shit, but what if she thinks I’m basically talking shit/being too bossy/being too prescriptive/coming up with shit ideas that she wouldn’t even want to shit out if they were a real live shit?!?!?!”, which causes them to use the, “but I’m not good with design” line, as if to reign themselves in.
And, weirdly, the “but I’m not good with design” line has another meaning. It also says that, “I know nothing about design. Really, less than zero. I’m not even sure if you’re the web designer for me because, er, what is design?! Flibble…!” And that isn’t what you need to be putting across…
I’m going to be honest here.
1. I am not judging you
2. My clients are too fucking savvy to come to me with ideas so past shit that I wouldn’t even shit them out if they were a real live shit.
I get that you aren’t trained as a web designer. But newsflash, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t good with design. Whatever you say to me, I am here to help you translate your brand and personality so that it works in the best way possible for YOU. And any web designer worth their salt will be EXACTLY THE SAME.
So let’s journey back. There are a couple of things you can and should say when you’re worried that the other person is judging your design ideas because they are “better at design” than you are:
1. “I’m not a designer, so I’d love your input as to whether these ideas would work for my brand”. And this is fucking perfect because you’ve acknowledged the fact that you have chosen someone to be the designer for your project because of their expertise, but you aren’t dismissing your own ideas (which FYI, are totally, completely, utterly valid)
2. Nothing. Just give your ideas, and let your designer work with them. If they think that something might work better for your brand, they should let you know, but if your ideas actually have some decent gravitas behind them (which, by the way, happens 9 out of 10 times), then just let them take that idea to the next level.
Your ideas are VALID. Your ideas are MORE AWESOME THAN YOU THINK.
Stop talking smack about your ideas (and, this gets a bit existential, because I’m not just talking about design now) start understanding that your ideas are ENOUGH to help you become really fucking awesome.
*hands you the Big Girl Pants*
(don’t forget the bra) xx