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Designing with Users in Mind

May 11, 2012, 20:23 PM | Published under Web Design by Michael Hodgdon

As a designer, I get all kinds of change requests as I work through design comps with a client. “Can you make this bigger?” “Can you make this lighter?” “Can we change the green to mauve?”

These are all pretty specific, eh? Should be easy, right? And they are. But I can tell you that often times I will push back a bit. And I will even go so far as to ask my favorite question... WHY?.

And why do I ask why, you ask? Because I like to be difficult? No. Because I think the client is wrong? No. Because I have the mind of a 4-year-old and must know the whys to everything? Heck, no (ok, maybe a little). But really, I ask WHY? because I care about the purpose of the site and want it to send the right message to the right audience.

Of course everyone involved wants the site to send the right message to the right audience, but it is very easy in a design process to get bogged down in personal preferences and minutia. And my job is to keep the message clear for your audience and to solve design problems.

So rather than me just clicking my mouse to change a color, I try to talk about it. That way we can all stay focused on the big picture of the design and see what the issues really are. And I can go back to my Mac and do my job... solving the design problems at hand.

So, let’s ask WHY? a little more, and hopefully, we will solve more problems than we create. And maybe we should change my title from Designer to Super Queen Design Problem Solver (too much?).

--

Amanda Obringer
Lead Designer
Infront Webworks


About the Author

Mike is the Marketing & SEO Director at Infront Webworks. An online entrepreneur since 1997, he has owned or run website design / SEO, online marketing and internet advertising companies for over 15 years. Featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Colorado Springs Business Journal and with projects featured in N.Y. Times, L.A. Times, he has a solid track record of successful online undertakings. He is a certified Yext Partner, Google Certified in Analytics, Tag Manager, AdWords, Online Display Advertising, Shopping and Video Advertising.

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