Surely you're a good designer. I am a good designer and don't call me Shirley.

Surely you're a good designer. I am a good designer and don't call me Shirley.

We as designers have a problem with a public perception. Some clients view designers as true partnership on the design. They feel like they’re apart of the process and offer great feedback but understand you’re the expert and will help best bring the final solution to visual fruition. Other clients have a tendency to have control issues with the projects. They dictate the design to you and it’s changes and generally  the project becomes miserable at that point with frustration on both sides. “Move that 2 pixels to the left, ok now try red.” This relegates the designer to an assembly line production designer, someone who simply carries out someone elses vision without any input into the final product. It’s strange how we don’t tell lawyers how to do their jobs or doctors how to fix our injuries, but the visual arts is something everyone can relate to and have an opinion on.

The problem is the perception on those clients parts that web design or graphic design for that matter is purely visual arts. That is a large component of it but the heart of great graphic and web design is solving business problems and communicating through visual solutions not simply aesthetics. Everything from the colors to the font selection to how elements are arranged on a page are pieces of a puzzle that we work on to get your message across effectively and with a focused precision. Even more so we’re seeing this in the relm of usability experts who are also graphic designers. Figuring out the best ways for people to interact with technology and how they get through a web or mobile phone application. We as designers need to better educate the public at large as to what we do and then perhaps we won’t have to fight so hard to try to keep that great design solution we had for the client from becoming frankenstein of it’s former self.

It’s not about having and ego or dictating to the client our higher than mighty design aesthetics. it’s about empathy for the customer and really understanding them and their needs and in trying to create that personal connection. When that occurs you’ll find things go much smoother and everyone is happier.

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