I’ve been working as a web developer since the mid-1990s, and with this longevity in web development, I’ve seen what works, and what doesn’t. I’ve seen the web and the way we use it change. I’ve seen strategies and processes in development both fail and succeed. What I’ve learned along the way is that, although techniques and visions change, thoughtfully architected sites and great communication with clients is the key to success.
Many clients come to me these days after redesigning their sites over and over again. Originally, their eyes were on the price, without regards to the actual effort a great site takes. Typically they would come across a less experienced designer / developer who didn’t mind cranking out a site without insight into the client’s business needs, or a strategy to help the client make their site work and stand the test of time.
The end result was an inexpensive, yet unappealing site that cost much more than they could ever anticipate by:
- Losing customers based on the look and feel of the site
- Losing customers based on the site’s ease of use and functionality
- Creating a negative image of their company
- Causing headaches and time based on content that was not easily editable
- Costing sales from eCommerce sites that weren’t secure or were hard to use
I recently had a wonderful client, Art of Cloth, who came to me after trying time after time to get their site “just right”. They wanted their site redesigned and were rightly concerned about who they chose after having issues time and time again. I know they were looking for the right person for a long time given that they have been burned in the past. When we met, and I started communicating with them about their needs, their interests, their wants, their goals, I saw huge smiles on their faces. I was grinning too because I knew I could give them the website they wanted for so long! We both were thrilled, and knew it was a great fit.
When I take a new client on, I give them my all. I don’t hold back. I consider their site as if it were my own. What would I want? In what ways can I address their needs? I think about their business, their marketing, their website, day and night in order to come up with the best ideas, and given my experience, I have the technical knowledge and skills to implement those ideas.
After ArtOfCloth.com was published, and I trained them on how to update their site and use their blog, they gave me a beautiful gift. Not a piece of clothing which they had treated me to before, but something from the heart . . . their first blog post was not about themselves or their clothing line, but about me! What a wonderful surprise it was to see the effort they put into giving something so precious back to me. I love making people so happy and helping such wonderful businesses and organizations succeed!