You may not believe me, but most people building websites are unqualified. Peeps that build websites fall into one of the following three groups, amateurs, graphic designers, or programmers. Which one should you hire and why? How can you tell them apart? Does it matter which one builds your website? Why should you care? Let me show you why, read on.
The Amateur – He is motivated to learn, but pretty useless otherwise. It’s true that his day job might be delivering pizza, but he is willing to try. He hasn’t done it before, but you are providing him with on the job training. As long as you are willing to be the guinea pig, he is willing to see what he can do for you. I almost forgot he is cheap, or maybe even free. The most interesting amateur scenarios involve family members, neighbors, roommates, or even coworkers. He works on his own schedule, so forget about deadlines. Your website may be finished in a few months or it may never be finished, but it will be an interesting roller coaster ride, whatever happens.
The Graphic designer – He loves pretty things. He designed cute little postcards and brochures in the past. Websites are just like brochures, right? Yes, it is a trick question. He is more concerned with looks than functionality. A pixel to the left here a shade of blue there, and we are done. He has heard about lead gen, traffic, and SEO, but he doesn’t know what all the fuss is about.
The Programmer – He has two pens in his shirt pocket and he means business when it comes to websites. He knows his code. He has a no nonsense approach to developing websites. Yes, developing, not designing, after all, he is a programmer. Who cares about design. He wants clean code. Looks are secondary. Usability is not his concern. After all what matters that it works.
If you are lucky, you never have to hire any of the above, but the best web designers might have little of all of the above characteristics. The best ones are willing to learn and try new things. They are always ready to experiment with new ways, taking risks. They also deeply care about design. Yes, it is true that design isn’t everything, but all websites should have great design. The programmer in us will always care about optimization of code, loading times, and efficiency.
When you hire to have help with your next web project look for all the traits listed above, a professional web designer will have them all.