Do’s and Don’ts of Communicating with Your Web Designer

Finding the right web design company to work with can be challenging.You know what you want, but communicating it effectively is another story. Between technical jargon and creative concepts, there’s plenty of room for misunderstanding. But fear not! This article, along with our comprehensive web design services available here, are here to bridge the gap between your vision and what your web designer hears, with a light-hearted twist. Whether you’re just starting to explore the digital realm or looking to revamp your existing online presence, our team is ready to translate your ideas into a stunning and functional website. And even you are looking to go with another web design company hopefully this guide will help ensure you don’t cross wires and can speak some of the lingo!

In this article, you will learn:

  • How to communicate effectively with your web designer.
  • The common pitfalls in client-designer communication.
  • How to rephrase your feedback constructively.

Ready to dive into the world of web design communication, where “I don’t like blue” doesn’t always mean what you think it does?

Do’s and Don’ts of Communicating with Your Web Designer

1. “Make it Pop”

What the Client Usually Means: “I want the website to be more visually striking and engaging.”

What Your Agency Hears: “Add every animation and neon color available in the design toolkit.”

When a client says “make it pop,” designers often imagine a virtual fireworks display on the homepage. It’s like asking for a little spice in your food and getting a dish that’s 90% chili pepper, ok I wouldn’t actually complain about that, absolutely loovvvee spice but you get the point.

What to Say Instead: “Could we explore ways to make key elements more visually prominent for better user engagement?”


2. “Can We Make the Logo Bigger?”

What the Client Usually Means: “I want our brand to be more noticeable.”

What Your Agency Hears: “Let’s turn the website into a giant billboard for our logo.”

Asking to supersize the logo can send designers into a world where logos eclipse content, like a sun blotting out everything else in the solar system.  Check out the biggest websites and their logos do not overpower the page.  The designer will have ensured that their is a balance between the logo and navigation.

What to Say Instead: “How can we ensure our branding is effectively highlighted without overpowering the overall design?”


3. “I’ll Know What I Like When I See It”

What the Client Usually Means: Well we hope they mean this! “I’m not sure what I want, but I’m open to ideas.”

What Your Agency Hears: “This one always makes us cringe at Dragon Evo, especially if they do actually mean that.  We are preparing for an endless cycle of revisions until we accidentally stumble upon the holy grail of designs.”

This is akin to sending someone to the grocery store with no list and saying, “Just bring back something good.” The result? Six types of cheese and no bread.

What to Say Instead: “Can we explore a range of concepts? I might find it easier to articulate my preferences with some visual examples. We aren’t mind readers and cannot just endlessly design without any input.  Customer input is crucial in the process.”


4. “My daughter Doesn’t Like the Color Scheme”

What the Client Usually Means: “I received some feedback from family and thought it might be useful.”

What Your Agency Hears: “Our design strategy should be heavily influenced by your daughter, who once made a PowerPoint on unicorns.”

It’s like asking your dentist to change your treatment plan based on your friends Google search on toothaches. While family feedback is heartwarming, it might not align with market research.

What to Say Instead: “Could we review the color scheme in terms of brand alignment and market appeal?”


5. “Can We Make the Website Like Apple’s?”

What the Client Usually Means: “I admire Apple’s website and would like something similarly sleek and modern.”

What Your Agency Hears: “Let’s replicate one of the world’s most iconic brand websites, but with our budget and timeline.”

We hear this one alot!   This request is like asking a local band to play Beethoven’s 5th Symphony – with kazoos. Inspiration is great, but direct imitation isn’t always practical or effective.

What to Say Instead: “What elements from Apple’s website can we incorporate to achieve a clean and user-friendly design suitable for our brand?”


6. “Just Do What You Think is Best”

What the Client Usually Means: “I trust your expertise and am open to your creative direction.”

What Your Agency Hears: “I’m giving you complete creative freedom, but I reserve the right to veto everything.”

It’s like being given free rein to decorate a friend’s room, only to find out they hate every shade of paint you’ve chosen. Complete freedom, yet within unseen boundaries.

What to Say Instead: “I value your expertise and would like to see your creative suggestions, but let’s align on a general direction first.”


7. “Can We Make the Site Look More High-Tech?”

What the Client Usually Means: “I want a modern and innovative look for the website.”

What Your Agency Hears: “Please incorporate every futuristic gadget and gizmo, including a hologram of the user.”

Asking for a “high-tech” look can send designers dreaming of sci-fi movies where websites are navigated through virtual reality. The line between cutting-edge and sci-fi fantasy gets blurry.

What to Say Instead: “Could we explore contemporary design trends that convey innovation and technology?”


8. “I Want It to Be Unique, Just Like [Insert Any Popular Website]”

What the Client Usually Means: “I’m inspired by this popular website, but I want our site to stand out.”

What Your Agency Hears: “Let’s recreate this famous website, but somehow make it completely different.”

It’s like asking for a cake that tastes exactly like chocolate but isn’t chocolate. Popular sites are benchmarks for a reason, but uniqueness requires originality.

What to Say Instead: “What elements make [Popular Website] effective, and how can we creatively adapt these for our unique brand?”


9. “Can We Add More ‘Wow Factor’?”

What the Client Usually Means: “I’d like something about the website to be very memorable and striking.”

What Your Agency Hears: “Cue the special effects and dramatic soundtracks for every page load.”

The quest for “wow factor” can lead designers down a rabbit hole of over-the-top animations and eye-catching gimmicks that overshadow the site’s purpose.

What to Say Instead: “Let’s identify a feature or design element that can be both impactful and aligned with our brand’s message.”


10. “It Needs to Be Perfect for Everyone”

What the Client Usually Means: “I want a website that appeals to our broad audience.”

What Your Agency Hears: “Design a universal website that pleases every human being on the planet.”

Aiming to please everyone often leads to a bland, one-size-fits-none design. It’s like making a pizza with every topping available – sounds good in theory, but in reality, it’s a mess.

What to Say Instead: “Can we focus on design elements that resonate best with our core audience segments?”


11. “I Saw This Cool Feature on Another Site…”

What the Client Usually Means: “I’m inspired by a feature I saw and wonder if it could work for us.”

What Your Agency Hears: “Let’s randomly insert this trendy feature, regardless of its relevance or functionality.”

It’s like seeing a unicycle and deciding it should be the new company car. Cool? Absolutely. Practical for everyday use? Not so much.

What to Say Instead: “How can we integrate this interesting feature in a way that enhances our site’s user experience and goals?”


12. “Just Keep It Simple, But Also Make It Stand Out”

What the Client Usually Means: “I want a clean design that is also memorable.”

What Your Agency Hears: “Create a minimalist masterpiece that also has the impact of a Broadway showstopper.”

Balancing simplicity with wow-factor is like trying to whisper loudly. It’s a delicate dance between understated elegance and memorable flair.

What to Say Instead: “Let’s explore minimalistic design options that include a few bold, brand-centric elements for impact.”


13. “We Need to Go Viral”

What the Client Usually Means: “I want our website to get a lot of attention and traffic.”

What Your Agency Hears: “Design something so sensational it breaks the internet, cat videos included.”

Aiming for virality in web design is like trying to capture lightning in a bottle – thrilling if it happens, but not exactly a reliable strategy. It’s a digital gold rush where not everyone finds gold.

What to Say Instead: “What are some innovative design elements we can use to make our site more shareable and engaging?”


14. “Can We Add More Features? My Competitor Has Them”

What the Client Usually Means: “I want our website to be competitive and feature-rich.”

What Your Agency Hears: “Let’s turn our website into a Swiss Army knife, every feature a competitor has, we need too.”

Adding features just because a competitor has them is like adding a helicopter landing pad to your house because your neighbor has one. Impressive, but do you really need it?

What to Say Instead: “Could we evaluate which features from competitors align with our strategy and would genuinely benefit our users?”


15. “Just Make It Like Facebook/Twitter/Instagram”

What the Client Usually Means: “I’m inspired by the success and design of these popular platforms.”

What Your Agency Hears: “Let’s mimic some of the most successful social media platforms in existence, but for our niche.”

Requesting a design like Facebook or Instagram is akin to asking a local café to remodel into a mini Starbucks. It’s great to draw inspiration from giants, but uniqueness gets lost in imitation.

What to Say Instead: “What design principles make platforms like Facebook effective, and how can we adapt these in a way that’s unique to our brand?”


16. “Let’s Design It for the Future”

What the Client Usually Means: “I want a future proofed site with a forward-thinking design that won’t feel outdated quickly.”

What Your Agency Hears: “Prepare for a sci-fi odyssey – let’s incorporate tech that hasn’t been invented yet.”

Designing for the future can sometimes sound like preparing for a time when websites are telepathically browsed. While it’s great to be ahead of the curve, there’s a fine line between futuristic and fantasy.

What to Say Instead: “How can we create a design that’s modern and adaptable to future trends without becoming impractical?”


The Wrap Up

Navigating the often quirky world of client-designer communication can be as much art as it is science. We’ve had some laughs exploring the do’s and don’ts, but underlying each humorous anecdote is a truth about effective communication. Remember, the goal is to create a website that not only looks great but also aligns with your business objectives and resonates with your audience.  If you are look

In this article, we’ve learned:

  • The importance of clear and strategic communication with your web designer.
  • How to avoid common misunderstandings by reframing feedback constructively.
  • That balancing humor with practicality can make the design process more enjoyable and effective.
  • As a next step, why not dive deeper into the world of web design? Consider exploring an article on the latest web design trends or tips on how to effectively collaborate with creative professionals. Understanding these aspects can further enhance your partnership with your web designer and lead to a website that’s not just good or great, but truly exceptional.