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Old 10th August 2006, 09:18 AM   #1
Linda
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Default Qualities of a Good Web Designer

This author tells us how to decide on a web designer.

"A good web designer will be able to build the site using modern HTML and cascading style sheet techniques. Most people seeking out a good web designer will not have any real knowledge of these things. But if you ask them how they generate their HTML, and they tell you they are using some sort of software package to do it, then you’re probably not going to get very efficient HTML."

Catch it @ http://www.smallbusinessbrief.com/ar...nt/005967.html

Okay designers, what do you have to add?

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Old 10th August 2006, 11:37 AM   #2
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All very good advice.

I've made a few observations in the past 12 months. Small business people want a provider they can trust (Referral marketing). Small business owners don't want to have to learn all the "stuff" about the web, they want a website and a partner who can make it happen, simple as that. A small business person doesn't want to get ripped off, they want to understand how their investment will pay off.

As "an artistically challenged developer", I've found that locating web design specialists is more problematic than finding skilled graphic artists who can produce exceptionally attractive layouts in their native (print) formats. The result is that good design firms (like mine (grin)) will assemble a team that can produce the great layout, in a manner that validates and is best configured for the web, has the tools to assemble the resources as well as the friendly interfaces that small business people find easy to use and effective in communicating the mission and message of the organization.

Small business people should invest their time in talking to owners of good websites and finding a good patch to their organization. Web firms should invest their time in developing ways to make the process of getting online as easy as possible.

That's a mighty fine nutshell now isn't it. Another great article!!!! Thanks!

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Old 10th August 2006, 01:28 PM   #3
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IMHO, the bottom line difference between a "graphic designer" and a "web designer" is this:

"Graphic Designers" work toward a static, passive environment.

"Web Designers" work toward a dynamic, interactive environment.

Most "designers" exhibit strengths more appropriate for one form than the other, which is why viewing and understanding previous work product before signing an agreement is advisable. I often encounter arrangements where a web development team includes both "graphic designers" and "web developers" who can transform the "graphic" sensibility into a valued web resource for the client.

There is as much difference between "graphic" and "web" design as there is between looking at the picture on a video game package and playing the game inside the package. While the picture on the box may look pretty good, if the gameplay stinks, that picture isn't going to rack up many sales.

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Old 10th August 2006, 01:30 PM   #4
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Interesting snippet you pulled Linda. I'm one of the designers who hand codes everything and is using css to layout my sites. I do think it's a much better approach to building a site for a variety or reasons which I won't go into here.

I don't think it's fair though to say that someone who uses software to design and build a site is automatically someone to run from. I think those designers should understand the code their software produces and be able to modify it without the help of their software, but making use of software isn't automatically a bad thing.

The snippet is right in that software produced code generally isn't as efficient as code that was written by hand. However I've seen plenty of hand coders who didn't write efficient code also.

I agree with SoKyBiz about trust. I think that and being able to communicate with your designer/developer are perhaps the most important things to look for when hiring a designer/developer. Yes they should know their stuff and be able to produce a quality site, but your web designer is someone you will likely work with beyond the initial site creation and being able to build a relationship with them is very important.

I think it's also important for business owners to shop around before settling on a designer. I've seen so many people in a rush to get a site up that they end up choosing someone without really taking the time to research what makes for a good website let alone a good web designer. Those extra few weeks you spend most likely aren't going to doom your business, but if you research wisely and make some good decisions your site will have a much greater chance of succeeding once it is live.

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Old 10th August 2006, 08:25 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, that you can't find a web designer client's site in SERPs doesn't mean the designer did a bad job. It means the client didn't do SEO.

Also, the article is still written for the web professionals. Whoever can determine whether a site is accessible and search engine friendly? As I said before, searching won't do it. Only looking at the site and in the code might help.

Sadly, the best thing I'd recommend is to get referred to a good designer or work with someone you know and can trust (through a conference, a blog, a forum, etc). Of course, you'll need to check whether the person is capable of doing what you want, but it's secondary to trust and quality.

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Old 15th August 2006, 08:39 AM   #6
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What is a web designer? I think there are few things here. Just because someone can craft a page efficiently doesn't mean the site is any good. Code monkeys are seldom good designers. Designers are seldom good coders.

Ideally, one would use a great code monkey, a top designer, a copy writer, a marketing advisor and then add the promotion after. But here on planet earth, modest budgets usually mean we have to compromise in most of these areas, but, the one area we shouldn't compromise is the message.

Does it really matter if you create a page in ABC, HTML, CSS or even XYZ? These languages will change, disappear and fall out of fashion over the years anyway. What was last weeks 'must use' technology is now old hat. Would your message loose it's meaning if the technology changed? If so, then maybe your design is more important than your message?

It reminds me of those great ads on TV where the visuals are so stunning, ethereal and dramatic, that I can't actually remember what is was they were supposed to be promoting...

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