I’ve been designing software and websites since the late ’90s. And while trends and technologies have changed over the years, one thing holds true.
The value you provide your client.
This week I did a video site review for a consulting client – besides the glaring technical issues with the site, there was no clarity as to what the business offered or who it was targeting. When we had our consult, it was clear her “designer” hadn’t done due diligence and simply slapped together a template without asking his client any questions nor guiding his client in any direction. To top it off, he couldn’t communicate effectively with her – she felt overwhelmed, lost and confused.
To create an effective site strategy, you must become intimately involved with the problems and needs of the business.
This should happen before you explore design solutions.
This client went on to say that the designer did everything she told him to do.
I told her that was part of the problem.
When you let the client dicate process and design solutions, you aren’t providing them with the best solution. You can simply be a pixel pusher, OR you can seek to solve problems through design.
I often call myself a visual therapist (especially when working with solopreneurs). Tackling the visual exterior of the business exposes a lot of issues with the actual business (and often the insecurities of the business owner).
This particular client revealed her overwhelm and lack of clarity surrounding her own business. During our session, we were able to resolve her confusion and provide her with the tools to resolve her issues. She felt confident in her new direction and excited to revise her site.
In another example, a long-time client contacted me this week to discuss a simple site revision to a site I created years ago. But our conversation revealed that she’s evolved beyond her niche and is on the verge of global exposure with her upcoming offerings. I’ve worked with a number of clients who have navigated similar transitions and we crafted a strategy that would meet her needs for the next phase of her business.
While it was once the standard to simply create informational sites, the best designers are able to provide strategic solutions to solve business problems.
Your value is in creating work that transforms businesses.