Common mistakes when getting a website designed

Please note that I did not write this article. Unfortunately, I don't have the authors details to attribute it to, and will do so, as soon as I can get these details.

I liked the article though......  and while it is true that mistakes can happen..........  it is also true that they can be fixed.


Having built hundreds of websites for clients it seems surprising that despite trying to overcome common issues which arise over and over, they still seem to pop up. Here are some of the common mistakes when getting a website designed and how you can help avoid them.

Problem Briefs
Before any website can be built your web designer will need to know what you are looking for, the objectives of the site and be given an idea of your tastes.

One of the most common issues that we encounter is clients haven't provided a detailed enough brief. The reasons for this are many however the main one seems to be that clients want their site to be completed quickly and so think doing a quick job on the briefing document will save time and get the ball rolling sooner.

This is usually not the case. Because everyone has some idea in their mind as to how they want their site to look, not giving much of a clue as to what that idea looks like means we have little chance of getting it right first time. In fact often you end up with greater cost and a longer time than if you spend the extra time making sure you made it clear what you were looking for.

It’s kind of like asking someone to pick out some clothes for you for a night out without telling them your age, gender, the type of occasion and your style. You might get lucky, but more likely you will end up turning up for your black tie event in a mini skirt.

THE RULE: Take the time to get it right, redesigns can cost money and add to the build time.

Not Taking Advantage of your Web Designer
The designer of your website does this job day in and day out and probably has worked on sites like yours in your industry before. Additionally your designer will be up-to-date with the latest trends and will feed those into your design too. Amazingly however, many clients will ignore the advice and guidance of their designer.

You may have a very strong idea of what you think your website should look like however you should pay close notice to any advice your designer gives you. Most designers aren’t lazy and will make recommendations based on what they think will make your website look good and not what saves them time.

THE RULE: Use the expertise of your designer, they will only want to do a great job for you and if they strongly disagree with something, you should consider it very carefully.

Designing by Committee
Nothing sends a shiver down my spine more than when a client says they are going to send a copy of the design to their friends to get some feedback.

This is a guaranteed way to drag a design process out and end up with a mismatch of ideas. Everyone wants to say something, everyone has different tastes. A design will never and can never be to everyone’s tastes however if you try to accommodate everyone’s little amendments you end up with it not being to anyones tastes.

THE RULE: Show your design to a maximum of 3 people, get feedback but don’t feel you have to implement everything. It doesn’t matter what your friends think either, better to show it to your clients, see what they think.

Feedback is the part of the project I dislike the most because you never know how a client is going to receive the work.

Clients will often feel upset if the design isn’t perfect first time. They shouldn’t feel that way though as most web designers know that you can never get things perfect on the first attempt and amendments and normal.

THE RULE: Keep feedback professional and constructive, falling out on the first design mock up will only make the process harder. Your designer will know changes are normal and won’t expect things to be right on the first attempt. Be honest about the things you don’t like and perhaps say something positive about the things you do just to show you appreciate the work that has been done.