Designing For Your Clients’ Taste – Not Your Own

Posted on by Gill

Design is usually all about personal taste. Most of the time, you either like something or you don’t. And if you don’t like it, then even worse, you’ll find that it just ‘doesn’t set you on fire’.

The critical part of our job is to take feedback from our clients regarding the designs that we create for them. We are always very keen in our discussions to reiterate that commercial design is different to a personal project. Sometimes, what the client needs may not be what you actually ‘like’.

Don’t get us wrong, we want you to love every design that we create and to enjoy the processes involved in working with our Account Handlers. However if you feel that you are becoming very involved on the design front and requesting changes to suit your own tastebuds, take a step back and consider the following.

Your logo: Have you asked for it to be bigger? This is a request that we receive a lot, and we understand why. Many clients admit that they would like a larger logo for fear of losing brand identity with a more discreet solution. Bear in mind, it is not all about the logo, and an expanded logo can (and mostly does) look inflated and gimmicky. A rational logo size commands confidence for the brand.

The style: Do you feel it needs to be ‘livened up’? Think about your clients, and the repeat visits that we’ll want them to make. A high-impact explosion may sound inviting, but visitors will soon tire of seeing this over and over again. A good design stands the test of repeat custom; it should clearly deliver content and not be fussy for the sake of design flourishes.

Moving buttons: People’s visual patterns are more uniform than you think, and it’s amazing how the eye subconsciously moves across a page in certain, and quite predictable patterns (do a search for ‘heat maps’). You’ll find that your eyes will just seek out contact details in the top left of a page, for example. Moving buttons to suit personal preference can be quite dangerous and distort natural tendencies. If you feel that you have a strong case, we can always set up A/B testing for you. This means that half of users will see one version of your pages, and others will see the alternative.

We also encourage that you take your design to your customers to ask for their thoughts; this really will help you to get a great second opinion!

We are trusted as industry leaders for a reason – please do not be shy to talk to us if you feel that you are at loggerheads with your web design.

About Gillian

Gill has worked in digital account management and editorial since graduation in 2005. A biological Mancunian, Gill moved to Harrogate in 2011 and is Extreme's Client Services Manager.

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