Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 38

Thread: Is the Standard Just Lower?

  1. #11
    Queen of the Forum Array KristineS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Traverse City, MI
    Posts
    4,500

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Furman View Post
    An astonishing amount of people think that yes, it's enough.
    That's really kind of sad when you think about it. I do see that sort of attitude all the time, the "I'll put up a web site and hordes of people will flock to it" attitude, but I can't believe that people can still be so unrealistic. I can see believing that when the Internet was first in use, but now it just seems so obvious that simply having a site isn't enough.

  2. #12
    Super Moderator Array Dan Furman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kingston, NY
    Posts
    1,231

    Default

    It's a question of dollars, really. Most people who get into a web type business do so because it is cheap. Typically, for a general site without whiz-bang effects, I cost more than the designer. Sometimes a LOT more. Most small businesspeople give pause to that.

    But I don't mind at all - they really aren't my client anyway. It's kind of a circle, really. My client is someone who will spend money on a nice site, and spend money to get people there. My client has a PPC budget, or at least has some plan to get people to their site. They come to me when they have qualified visitors, but no sales. And I fix that.
    Dan Furman - Copywriter, Business Author, Entrepreneurial/Business Consultant
    Business Writing Services | Website Copywriting Services | Blog here
    Check out my books here

  3. #13
    Queen of the Forum Array KristineS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Traverse City, MI
    Posts
    4,500

    Default

    You do have a point Dan. I know a lot of people who are looking to put up a web site for two cents and a stick of gum. They think simply having something is the key to financial success and don't seem to understand that there is a pretty wide gap between "something" and "something good".

    Maybe it all comes down to education. You won't convince everyone, but the more people you can reach with the message that "something" isn't good enough, the more potential customers you can create.

  4. #14
    Refugee from the .com Array cbscreative's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Right here
    Posts
    2,713

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Furman View Post
    It's a question of dollars, really. Most people who get into a web type business do so because it is cheap. Typically, for a general site without whiz-bang effects, I cost more than the designer. Sometimes a LOT more. Most small businesspeople give pause to that.
    I suspect that is somewhat of a Catch 22 for web designers, but what they either don't realize or don't care about is, they inadvertantly set clients up to fail. If they bring in a good copywriter, it ups the price and they might lose the sale to a cheaper designer. I'm finding the common practice with web people is they require the client to supply the copy. This sort of absolves the designer from being responsible for it.

    I think the problem is most likely that most web designers aren't any better at selling than the people hiring them. That statement may not be very popular with web designers, but if they can't sell the value of good web copy as part of the package, then how are they going to build a web site that really meets the needs of their clients? I can't fault them for not being writers, but if they don't hook up with someone who is, then they can only build sites that look pretty.

    So call me a hardnose for saying that, but business is tough, and the Internet is not kind to poorly written web sites.
    Steve Chittenden

    Web design, graphic design, professional writing, and marketing.

    "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt

  5. #15
    Post Impressionist Array vangogh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    Posts
    13,557

    Default

    I'm finding the common practice with web people is they require the client to supply the copy. This sort of absolves the designer from being responsible for it.
    I think that's because web designers simply aren't copywriters. I don't think it's about absolving responsibility, just two different things. Should a web designer also help the client create a business model? Should designer help build the product? Also in my experience most clients won't then pay a web designer to write the copy, so it's a lot more work for no pay.

    It's one thing to offer some advice and make the suggestion, but there's only so much a web designer should be expected to do. Ultimately the client has to take responsibility for their own business.
    l Search Engine Friendly Web Design | Vanseo Design
    l Design, Development, Marketing, and SEO Tutorials | Steven Bradley's Notebook
    l Custom WordPress Themes |Get my book about Design Fundamentals

  6. #16
    Super Moderator Array Dan Furman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kingston, NY
    Posts
    1,231

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vangogh View Post
    It's one thing to offer some advice and make the suggestion, but there's only so much a web designer should be expected to do. Ultimately the client has to take responsibility for their own business.
    I agree. I get very little to no work through web designers (not that I expect any), because it does make the price way too high. Totally understandable.

    And I would expect the same if I offered someone else's design w/ my writing for a higher price - it just doesn't work. Like you said, two different things.
    Dan Furman - Copywriter, Business Author, Entrepreneurial/Business Consultant
    Business Writing Services | Website Copywriting Services | Blog here
    Check out my books here

  7. #17
    Post Impressionist Array vangogh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    Posts
    13,557

    Default

    Dan I've recommended to some clients that they hire a copywriter and even given out your email at times. I leave it up to them though. People don't come to me for copywriting. They come to me for design/development. If I think they could stand to have better copywriting I'll recommend it, but it doesn't make sense to tie it into my work unless a client specifically asked for that.

    That said I have written or rewritten copy for clients, depending on the situation.
    l Search Engine Friendly Web Design | Vanseo Design
    l Design, Development, Marketing, and SEO Tutorials | Steven Bradley's Notebook
    l Custom WordPress Themes |Get my book about Design Fundamentals

  8. #18
    Refugee from the .com Array cbscreative's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Right here
    Posts
    2,713

    Default

    Obviously, the place where the web designer's responsibility begins and ends is subject to a lot of debate.

    "Should a web designer also help the client create a business model?"

    This is just one of a ton of questions you could ask. I believe the answer is no. But, the web designer cannot be expected to really do justice to a web site without knowing something about the business model. So while they are not responsible to create it, I believe they should make a point of knowing what it is.

    This discussion is really about the web copy and not the business model, so I'll raise these points for consideration. The web designer does not need to be a copywriter. I think everyone can understand that this is a different skill set and there is no fault in being good at one and not being any good at the other.

    However, do you think there are situations where the web designer realizes they have been given bad web copy and they choose to just go with it because they feared losing the web design job? Based on my observation, I believe the answer is yes. If the web designer knew this in advance, then who is really at fault?

    Sure, it's not their responsibility to write the copy without pay, that's ridiculous, but I believe they do have a responsibility to raise the issue. Maybe I'm just obstinate, but I'd rather lose a job than take it just to fill the schedule.
    Steve Chittenden

    Web design, graphic design, professional writing, and marketing.

    "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt

  9. #19
    Post Impressionist Array vangogh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    Posts
    13,557

    Default

    without knowing something about the business model.
    Knowing about it yes, but expected to be responsible for it no. I realize you said that in your post, but I wanted to repeat it.

    As for the copy it is a different skill set. Copywriting is a skill that certainly benefits a web designer, but... A web designer is there to design the website. Some might not even build the site. What it comes down to is the person or company being honest about the skills they possess. One web designer may also be a good programmer and can develop a custom shopping cart. Another might not be able to work on the shopping cart.

    Yes I do think some designers will accept bad copy because they don't want to lose the job. Some friends will also tell you your copy is wonderful when they think it's bad. Ultimately as a web designer you agree to do certain work for a certain amount of money. That's the only thing you should be held responsible for and the only thing you should be expected to do.

    I think a web designer who thinks their client's copy is bad should find a way to let the client know the copy needs improvement. You can recommend someone to work on the copy or even offer to work on it yourself. But the client has the final say. If you advise a client that their copy needs improvement and the client insists on using it you can advise again more strongly, but at some point you have to accept that it's the client's site and they can do what they want with it.

    It's really not the designer's responsibility to raise the issue in my opinion. I think a good web designer should raise the issue, but I won't go so far as to say it's their responsibility to. It's not about losing a job to me, but rather that people need to be responsible for themselves.
    l Search Engine Friendly Web Design | Vanseo Design
    l Design, Development, Marketing, and SEO Tutorials | Steven Bradley's Notebook
    l Custom WordPress Themes |Get my book about Design Fundamentals

  10. #20
    Member Needs New Keyboard Array Spider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    3,677

    Default

    From following this discussion and hearing what has been said in these forum about what the website design can be expected to do, I think website designers need to be more clear in what they say. If I understand this thread correctly,

    design (ie. layout. color)
    copywriting (the text)
    business model (how the client runs his business)
    target audience (prospective customers)

    ... are all separate things and only the first - the layout and colors - are the responsibility of the designer.

    It seems to me that most of the performance of the website comes from the other elements - the copy, the business model and the target audience. The layout and colors would play - I suggest - a relatively minor part in how the website performs. Thus, the idea that a good web design is crucial to an effective website hardly holds true.

    I would single out the navigation, which I expect to be the responsibility of the designer. That is essential to a well-performing website, I think. But when designers decry those who only create a pretty site while claiming no responsibility for anything other than color and layout, this leaves me bafled.

    How would a "good" designer single himself out from a designer who only creates a pretty site?

Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •