The Common Misconception about Website Designers
Being in the creative industry is tough, especially in Malaysia. As a whole, we don’t value art form and the amount of effort required to make an art. Softwares cost thousands, office rentals, new technology and tools. In short, it’s really hard to break-even.
I guess this comes from the misconception about website design. Some people think we’re just like magicians who pulls out rabbit at a birthday party. Some think we can just copy the whole website for them (yes we can). Some think being a freelancer or working from home is very lucrative. So here’s my thoughts on this.
1. Website Designers Will Find Photos for Your Website.
Nope. They can, but you can do better.
A normal website comprises of 4 main ingredients.
1. The design.
2. The photo/ images on website.
3. The Copywriting.
4. The platform.
To make a good website, these four elements have to be present. It’s very rare for website designers to be able to do all 4. And normally, you have to pay for all 4 of this services differently.
Tips: Website designers can find it for you, but they don’t know your products like you do. Ideally, you should hand it to them. (this is not spoon feeding)
2. Website Designers Can Do Copywriting.
Copywriting will determine whether your visitor will make the next move, to buy or just close the tab. A website designer role is to design your website with the given input. It’ll be really hard to juggle between design and crafting sales copy.
Tips: Hire a copywriter once your website is completed (after running for 1-2 months). They will know what is lacking and how to improve with the given data.
3. Website Designers Earns a Lot
On contrary, no, we don’t earn a lot. There’s always newcomers who’s going to price low. When this happens, the market perception is “Website Design is Cheap”, which leads to, “Maybe because it’s simple to do”, therefore they shouldn’t be charging a lot.
If you engage ones that follows a methodology, hold your hands and listen to you intently, then trust me, it’s going to be a great website, it wont be cheap and you will be laughing your way to the bank.
Tips: Find one that suits your budget. Cheap website are cheap for a reason, because it’s crappy. Don’t be cheap, appreciate your business.
4. Website Designers Reuse Codes
True and False.
Imagine baking a cake. The ones that can be reuse are the utensils and some leftover flour, sugar etc. You can’t reuse a cake that has already been made. Every project is different, just like a cake.
But I do agree. Some elements can be recycled, but provided using framework (and they change with every update).
5. Website Designers Can Do Programming
True and False.
Programming is part of website developments, so is website design.
While these are two different principles, there some exceptions who can do both.
Tip: If you want to build a system, hire a website developer. If you want a slick looking website, hire a website designer.
6. Website Designers Can Manage Server.
Managing server involves hardware related stuff, like network, provisioning for hard space (sound technical huh?) and they are called engineers. The ones that can do all (manage server, website design, website development) are called “Full Stack Developers”.
Full Stack Developer are expensive and are normally busy.
Tip: Hire full stack if you want a single person to interact with. Hire individually if you want a quick website.
7 . Website Designer Charges Cost an Arm (Expensive)
I agree. But this only happens if the following is true.
- Designs are hard to finalize (no one wants to make decision)
- You don’t know what you want.
- Too many decision makers.
- Too many comments and feedback for design.
- Too many iterations.
- Too many pages.
- Too many meetings.
The best is to let them do their job. Trust in their work. Improve further once it’s completed.
Tip: Prepare a requirement of what you want for you website before meeting or contacting one. This will save you money.
8. Website Designer Don’t Know How to Design.
This is somewhat funny. The first is thing to note is the difference between art and design. Art is an expression, it’s freeform and wild. Art is emotion. While design is to solve a problem (how it works). Design is logical. If your website designer can’t solve your problem, then maybe you should hire someone else.
Tip: Find a website designer that suits your style/taste. Check out their portfolio.
9. Website Designers Have an Easy Life (working from home).
On contrary, web designers can have a stressful life. Before we sleep, we think about the website and this causes insomnia. The minute we wake up, we quickly latch onto a pencil and start sketching, then to PC for actual drawings. I would call this a occupying “headspace”, the part of brain that is occupied with project. This can only be freed once the project is completed.
It’s extremely challenging if website designers have two projects running at the same time.
Tip: Hire a website designer that respects your time (those who show up early, meet deadline and uphold their promises). You will be a happy customer.
10. Website Designers Don’t Know How To Communicate.
I too, once received a remark like “Make this website pop!”, “The font is boring” and “The color is not vibrant”. When given these feedback, how do you expect the website designers to react?
The biggest challenge of a website designer is not to build the website, but to decode what the customer means.
Tip: When communicating with your website designer, make sure they understand what you mean. Avoid vague comments. And with every critics, provide feedback on how to go about it.
These misconceptions may sound negative, but it’s important to understand, that a website is not only about the desired outcome, but also about human interaction and trying to understand each other roles in building a website.
I know the topic is about misconception of the website designers, inadvertently I also wrote tips to work with website designer.
Note: To website designers, share this post if this is how you feel.