A Camel Is a Horse Designed by a Committee


Alec Issigonis, the developer of the European mini, often commented that “a camel is a horse designed by a committee.” Of course, Alec was referring to cars, but the same applies to website design. Having too many people involved in the decision-making process creates bottlenecks and confusion. The result often fails to meet the needs of the business. Instead, the best web design experience occurs when a company clearly defines who will coordinate the project and who has the final authority to approve the new design.

Issues That Can Arise During the Approval Process

Typically, one of two problems arises when too many people are involved in the website approval process.

  • Everyone wants their way and compromise is difficult to achieve.
  • Nobody wants to offend, so the result is bland and not necessarily the best website design for the company.

Either of these scenarios can be frustrating for the web designer. He needs to identify the company’s goals for the new website and gain some insight into how the website fits into their business model. When opinions differ, then it becomes problematic and the project stalls.

Conversely, when nobody provides direction, then the result is a website that fails to excite or engage visitors. Without engagement, the chances of conversion are low. Through no fault of their own, the web designer is then left with an unsatisfied customer.

So, the challenge for the web designer is to limit the number of stakeholders to just a few key players and establish a process of checks and balances to keep the project running smoothly and produce the best web design possible.

Key People Needed to Achieve the Best Web Design Process

Most web agencies have a web consultant who works closely with the web client. That consultant then coordinates with the developers, content writers, and graphic artists. However, those people don’t usually deal with the web client directly.

On the other side of the equation, the company requesting the new site should also designate one to two people to head up the project. Typically, it works best if they identify two key players.

  • A Project Owner
  • The CEO or the “Person with Final Approval”

All the minor decisions should come from the project owner. They should have the authority to make and request changes. This person should also coordinate client-supplied materials such as text or images, specific to their brand. In the event that there is an issue, they would also be the one to resolve the problem or track down the person who could help.

However, this project owner might not be the one with the authority to approve the final product. If that is the case, then milestones should be set up along the way and approved by the one who does have final approval.

These milestones often include:

  • Homepage Design
  • Color Palette
  • Sitemap
  • Content

Why are these checks necessary?

The project owner and the web designer could conceivably come up with “the best web design possible” and the CEO takes one look at it and hates it. Because of this, the person with final authority needs to give the green light to move ahead during the process as well as giving the go for the launch.

Communication is Key

At every point, prompt and clear communication is the key to moving the project forward. Assigning specific roles can eliminate launch delays and ensure the best possible website in a timely manner

If you need a new web design or a website redesign, find out how you can receive a Free Mock-Up of a site that meets your needs. Contact Thomas Digital Design for the best web design experience possible.

 

 

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