Website Design: A Team Effort -
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Website Design: A Team Effort
19 May 2010

Website Design Is a Team EffortI think everyone is familiar with the axiom ‘it takes a village to raise a child’—I’m a big fan of that kind of thinking and have stayed close to friends and family in my efforts to raise my sons. I’ve found that even though friends and family often have a very different perspective on how to handle any given situation, it benefits my kids tremendously to have support and commitment beyond the nuclear family. My sons are also—I feel—more independent and creative in their thinking because they have witnessed a variety of styles and viable approaches to solving any given problem.

I consider the axiom of ‘the village’ to be valid in the professional realm as well. Businesses and business projects take on a life of their own and also become our “children”—and it usually takes the support of various dedicated people to care and nurture a business to successful fruition. It only makes sense to attract people who are committed to your business and who can offer a different perspective on how to solve the many issues that arise in running a company, or executing any given project. Although there are many successful solo players out there, most businesses depend upon more than one person for their ongoing success.

In the website design business—this is especially true. I’m sure many of you have had the experience of working with a lone Web designer—I’m curious, how did that work out for you? In my experience, it seldom works because the lone website designer can never fully support a website through the evolutionary phases that are required over time. A lone website designer usually doesn’t stick around that long, nor do they have the fortitude to modify the website as the business evolves.

A website design should be a living representative of your business: you’re the “parent” of your website, and your website design company is like an aunt or uncle . . . or a trusted caretaker who’s looking after your “child” on a daily basis. You can’t just trust anyone with your kid—because there are a lot of bad things that can happen to your website. Security attacks and poor servers that aren’t well supported can cause your website to disappear overnight. Additionally, your website needs to be continually updated so that it’s always ready to meet new customers: it should change according to the seasons of your business. Just as you wouldn’t want your child showing up at a formal event wearing an old T-shirt, or appearing on the first day of school wearing out-of-date clothes, you don’t want your website appearing out-of-date or looking poorly next to your competitors. Your website needs to represent your business in its very best light on an ongoing basis, as it is often a customer’s first impression of your business.

It is best to choose a Web company that has a track record of success and that is going to be there for you in the years to come—that can get to know your business and support you throughout the journey. Having the right support team is critical.

I’ve worked in the Web industry as a consultant for some time, and I see the value that offers to small businesses. eWorks! XL® is a unique program in the industry, and it’s particularly designed to meet the needs of small businesses that are on a budget and that need a website that can grow and evolve as they do. What is especially great is that there are no set-up fees or big down payments up front, so the initial risk is minimized—and you get an ongoing program that supports your business with online marketing as well as perpetual updates to your site whenever you need them.

For those of you who are current customers, I encourage you to call in at 1-800-311-2707 (option 2)—or use the Modifications Submission Form—and make changes to your website regularly—we’re here to do that for you. If you want to make changes, but don’t know what to do—call us and get some advice and feedback on what you can do next.

If you’re not a current customer and you’re experiencing the ups and downs of an unstable Web company (or a Lone Ranger designer), I highly recommend that you consider as a caretaker for your Web presence. We’d consider it a privilege and an honor to take care of your website so that you can focus on growing your bottom line.

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  1. June said on May 20, 2010

    Thanks for posting. All work should have a team effort. 🙂

  2. The best websites always come from a team of website designers! Nice article. 🙂

  3. I appreciate your comments, thanks. I agree—a team works best . . . at a minimum, someone who works with the client to understand the business, a designer who translates that understanding visually, and a third person to write good marketing copy. There are few jacks-of-all-trades in the Web design business as the skills required are so distinct. It would be sort of like hiring a single architect to not only design, but personally build your house—instead of working with an architect, a general contractor, and a team of specialists.

  4. Every serious Web designer should be familiar with the work of Eysenck and Martindale. Unfortunately, in my experience designers tend to be hostile to any attempts to measure the value of their work by means of experiment-based metrics. So much for “usability.”

  5. I do understand your complaint about Web designers. . . . Although I’m not familiar with Eysenck and Martindale, I have studied the work of Jakob Nielsen and recommended it in a previous blog. Usability is really a matter of applying established standards and focusing on the customer experience—you have to figure out what is most important to the end user and place that information prominently. It’s my experience that if the business owner conveys the right information to the Web designer, most professional Web designers will be able to translate that information into a customer-friendly, usable design because most of them operate according to a common set of Web standards.

    Usability testing becomes critical, however, when working on high-demand applications or highly trafficked websites; in these cases, a small mistake can mean a very high cost.

  6. Yes, it is very important to make sure that your design team is willing to give you the support you need in order to make your “child” grow.

  7. I guess it doesn’t hurt to consult with others every now and then, but I also believe in too many cooks spoiling the broth.

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