Ben Terrett of Noisy Decent Graphics has written a list of things that describe what “his Internet” is like. From an encounter with a technologically-challenged executive comes an inspiring exercise to get everyone on the same page first.
…I thought it might be a nice idea to get everyone to describe ‘their internet’ at the first meeting of any new client. Like they do at school when the new kids arrive mid term. Get everyone up to the same level. That way, everyone would know the ‘level’ of everyone else and there would be no clangers later on.
The list is not only informative, it’s also prescriptive (in a sort of passive-agressive way!). It addresses the little things clients don’t really take into consideration when they describe what they want for their websites. But the thing is, you’re the expert, so grab the opportunity to teach what thoughtful and usable design is. Some of my personal favorites from the list:
- Not using Flash for anything other than videos
- Giving simplicty and clarity top priority
- Not reinventing the wheel
You may not agree with everything on Ben’s list, but the idea is not just to yell at your client for “not getting it”, but to explain why you’re doing “it” that way. It strengthens the relationship you have with your client, and ensures clear communication pathways in between.