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Old 13th August 2006, 08:15 PM   #1
J.Albright
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Default Beware-Most Web Designers Aren't Sales People!

Most web designers are artists, and they aren't salespeople. If you're on the internet to generate revenue-to make sales!-then you need to try and get your website sales oriented. Web designers are great people, and they will make your website look "nice and attractive", but will your website do what it's supposed to do?--SELL!!

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Old 13th August 2006, 10:49 PM   #2
Matt McGee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Albright
Most web designers are artists, and they aren't salespeople. If you're on the internet to generate revenue-to make sales!-then you need to try and get your website sales oriented. Web designers are great people, and they will make your website look "nice and attractive", but will your website do what it's supposed to do?--SELL!!
Sweeping generalizations like this are usually inaccurate, and I don't think you can lump "most web designers" under this label you've created. While I'd agree that some web designers are nothing more than "designers" who pay attention only to look and feel, there are a lot of "developers" who understand the bigger picture, which includes usability, functionality, and ultimately, the client's goals (sales, lead generation, whatever).

If a business owner ends up with someone who only knows about design and nothing else, I'd suggest the business owner may not have done enough homework during the hiring process to find a more well-rounded individual or company.

Just my 2 cents....

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Old 13th August 2006, 11:42 PM   #3
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Excellent points Matt.

And yes, you see sites all the time that look fabulous but would be unable to generate a decent ROI. The biggest two issues are usually SEO and usability. And most designers are also not copywriters from my experience so I hope there is not an expectation out there that all designers do this as well!

If you have a project manager or consultant on side to oversee the project and ensure the resulting site can perform on all levels of the marketing strategy, then you should be ok. But it's unreasonable to expect a designer to always be all things to all people. It happens though because a lot of business people starting out on the web simply don't know the right questions to ask. I see it all the time, and it's somewhat understandable given the mythology surrounding ecommerce. Not one of my friends (offline) have a clue what I do for a living or how this whole Internet marketing things works period. And I do know some pretty smart people!

It's always a shame to see a super talented business person enter the online world and get taken advantage of because they just didn't know where to start or what to ask. You're so right Matt when you say that people gotta do their homework!!

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Old 14th August 2006, 01:09 PM   #4
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I'm with Matt on the innacuracies of sweeping generalizations. When you talk about a website generating sales what part of that are you including in the design?

When I design a site I do what I can to understand the client's business objectives as best I can and try to design and build a site that will help sell the client's products or services. I work to make a usable site that loads quickly. I try to place 'calls to action' in places where I think they will be most effiective, etc. I'll offer my experience and suggest ways to improve on what the client asks for.

But your web design is only one part of what will help sell your products and services. Designing a web site and writing the copy for that web site are two completely different services. A web designer shouldn't be expected to write your copy unless they also happen to offer that service and you want to pay for it.

Web designers aren't necessarily SEOs either. I happen to do both so I will design and build a site that will serve as a solid foundation for seo. I'll even write a title beyond 'domain - Home' and do a few other things while I'm building a site, but I won't spend time researching which keywords would be best for your site unless you also want to pay for that research. I'm not going to start buiding links for you either unless you want to pay for that service as well.

I think it's unfair to assume your web designer is solely responsible for how successful your site sells. Web design is only one part of the equation. There's a lot more than the way your site looks if you want to make a sale. There are certainly aspects of web design that are part of the selling aspect and a good designer will understand those aspects and design a site to incorporate things that help in the overall selling process, but to think they alone should be responsible is unfair.

I think you will also find different levels of quality in designers the same you'll find different levels of quality in everything. You're right that some designers won't know beyond the aesthetics, but many will. It's one of the reasons not to hire the most inexpensive designer you can find or rush out to purcahse a design template. A good designer can and will know how to help sell your product. You have to keep in mind though that you need to pay for that knowledge and service.

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Old 14th August 2006, 03:10 PM   #5
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I will agree with at least the spirit of the OP. In my experience, there are three essential areas required for a successful e-business plan: design, marketing, and coding. These are inter-related aspects of any site, but they each require their own attention and cannot be ignored. True success comes when this triad of digital marketing is taken together without leaving any part behind.

Offhand I can't think of any designers who completely fail in the marketing prong of the triad. However, I could very easily see how this might be the case. What I am more familiar with is when coders fail in the design area of web sites, and perhaps less so when coders fail on the marketing end.

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Old 21st August 2006, 02:56 PM   #6
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I would agree with Matt and Karri.

The "lens" that filtrates your vision about design's purpose could bring you a distorted image...Especially when you percieve a web page in these terms: "nice and attractive". In some part, I think it's our fault for the misunderstanding of this term - "designer". I once read that "design" is , and I quote: "very much a part of something else. It fits within a context of things, the world, the desktop or on a page".

I use design to solve communication needs that could appear in my relationship with a client. And design is a very complicated thing, because it can represent an interdisciplinary area that could bring together teams from different fields of expertise. Those teams would ideally have different backgrounds, so the final product could benefit of a complete "coverage". So you see, J., it's more complicated than "nice and attractive" and you bet is much more complicated than the overrated "Sell! Sell! Sell!".

My 2 cents too


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Old 1st September 2006, 06:59 PM   #7
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Web designers will design your site however you ask. Their main goal is to make the customers happy. Generally, a tmeplate is not what is going to make the sales. It is going to be seperate graphics, general usability, and write ups that bring in the customers. I would consider a sales person as the one that does the writeups and advertises for your site (a marketer). I will agree that the designers themselves are not often sales people, but a sales person is going to need to outsource to a designer to bring in sales. Plain text just wont cut it.

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Old 1st September 2006, 09:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e39m5 View Post
Web designers will design your site however you ask. Their main goal is to make the customers happy.
I'm sure there are some folks/shops like that, but I think a good web designer realizes his/her job includes advising the client on best practices, not just blindly doing whatever the clients says in order to keep the client happy.

Just today, in fact, two times I had to explain to a client that her ideas were not good ones.

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Old 5th September 2006, 11:51 AM   #9
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Whenever I create a design for a client I do try to advise them on why something will work and why an idea may not. I see a big part of my job as educating clients about what goes into building a successful website.

Sometimes it's a fine balance. I once had a client who really was off in everything with their current site and when i tried to make suggestions to improve the site I was basically accused of just trying to run up the bill. I've had other clients who accepted most of my ideas and thanked me for the knowledge.

Most clients fall somewhere in between. They'll listen to my advice and in the end make their own decisions about what they do and don't want. Sometimes it means I have to add something to a site that I don't think will work in any way, but in the end it is the client's site and they have the right to do what they want with it.

I'll never just do a site the way a client wants unless I also agree with the things they want. That has certainly happened. More often though I'll listen to what the client wants from their site, make my own suggestions as to how to best achieve that along with explanations of why I'm making those suggestions and then let the client make the final decision.

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