Why You Can’t be Objective About Your Own Web Design
There are plenty of good reasons to use a web designer or an agency to help you build your site. For starters, it will usually result in a more professional final product. Unless you happen to already be a professional web designer yourself, attempting this will normally mean you’re outside of your comfort zone and using tools that you aren’t familiar with. When you use a professional, you’ll be outsourcing to an individual or organization that does this professionally almost every single day and that as such has all the best tools, experience and techniques to ensure you get the very best final product.
All that, and you’ll also avoid taking valuable time away from your team so that they can focus on what matters to your business.
But there’s another reason to outsource your web design too: a reason that many of us will often overlook. That is simply that it’s incredibly hard to be completely objective when you’re dealing with your own site and your own brand. Let’s take a look at why this might be a problem…
One issue you need to overcome when designing a website for yourself, is the information bias. That is to say, that you already have a lot of information about your own business. In fact, you’re probably the world’s leading expert on the matter!
What this means is that it can become incredibly difficult to look at your website through the eyes of someone visiting for the very first time. What information do they look for first? What do they need to know? And how can you make sure that you provide that information to them?
This is a classic mistake that companies make when building their own sites and they’ll often be too vague and paint with broad strokes, forgetting that their visitors lack a lot of basic information about who they are, what they do and what they’re trying to portray!
Another issue is self-criticism. That is to say that most of us aren’t very good at doing it and we can’t help but be a little protective over our own work.
This is why it’s so hard to proof read your own writing. You’ll almost always miss the mistakes you’ve made yourself, even though they might be glaringly obvious to someone else. Likewise, it’s why we can get quite defensive when someone comes and tells us that they don’t like some aspect of our design. Neither of these traits is particularly helpful when it comes to web design.
Being too close to the project is also a problem in other ways. For starters, you probably have clear ideas about what you want your website to look like, based on the kind of thing you like. It’s your business and so of course you want it to have a design that you can relate to!
But actually, that’s kind of missing the point. It’s not all that important at all that your design resonates with you. Instead, it’s important that the design resonates with your visitors. Your web design isn’t for you – it’s for them. And it’s important to be detached enough from the situation to know what’s best for the project as a whole and what’s best for your business, rather than just what you like the looks of.
How You See You, Versus How We See You
Then there’s the issue of being objective about your own business.
Because actually, we can often have a rather warped idea of how people see our business. We see this all the time with all the corporate companies that are trying incredibly hard to be ‘hip’ and ‘cool’. They want to appeal to a youthful audience and they want to appear modern and on the ball. Unfortunately, they just end up looking badly out of touch and incredibly ‘square’ (to use a very outdating and ironic expression…).
This is why you need to hire a professional that understands your image and once again understands the market. It’s important that you put forward the image that your audience needs to see – and not the one that you wish they’d see.
This might seem like a small matter but in fact it can be even more important than the web design itself. Even if you’re a competent designer, capable of making a good-looking website, that doesn’t mean you’ll understand the audience, or the best way to communicate the right message to that audience. Too many businesses have websites that are misleading, confusing or just awkward and hiring a web design team is one of the best ways to avoid that.
And if you don’t want to work with a web design agency? Then just consider showing your website to a few people who are a bit more removed from your brand. Their opinions are more important than your own in this instance!