I believe in giving web design clients what they need, which is not always what they want, at least not initially.
I know that sounds incredibly arrogant, so let me explain. I’ve been building websites for a long time. I continue to study search engine optimization techniques (helping search engines to find your website), principles of effective web design, and improving the user experience. I know what works.
So if a client comes to me and wants to register a domain name like Central-Fresno-Life-Insurance-Consolidated.com, it’s my job to try to convince them that that’s not an effective domain name. It’s too long, no one will remember it, and it takes forever to type. (Would Yahoo be where they are today if they had been called YahooHierarchicalWebsiteDirectory.com?) It’s much better to find a short phrase that’s easy to remember, even if it doesn’t match the business name exactly.
It’s not always easy. Clients sometimes have very fixed ideas of what they want, even after I explain that it may hinder the user experience or harm the search engine rankings. So it’s sort of a negotiation between me and the client, which is kind of funny, but I wouldn’t be doing my job responsibly if I didn’t push for the best result for the client.
I also believe in giving clients more than they expect. I want someone to go away saying, “Wow, that guy really delivered.” It’s not even about the money, or future referrals, though those are nice. Mainly I just I love building something elegant and attractive, something unique, something that I can look back at with pride and think, “Cool. I did that.”