1. Rawnet on web usability

    Posted September 9, 2008 in projects  |  2 Comments so far

    I don’t take issue with the broad thrust of Rawnet’s 2008 conversion report, which found that 78% of respondents had been put off companies or services by poor web usability. However, I do take issue with the quote from Adam Smith, their managing director:

    “companies are losing out on a massive amount of potential business simply because their current web design agency has either focused too much on what looks great, or too much on non-essential technical features…”

    This quote paints a misleading picture of web agencies working in isolation, free of input or direction from clients, who are in turn innocent victims who have unusable and design-heavy sites inflicted upon them. In practise, however, this very rarely happens. Clients tend to be deeply involved with the design process and must therefore assume ultimate responsibility for the successes and failures of their websites.

    Image result for web design

    Why is this? Well, firstly, responsibility lies with the client because the client decides which agency to commission. The client decides scope, budget and timescales, and goes on to exercise power of sign-off on all major deliverables. And rightly so.

    Why rightly so? Well, it’s not just due to the fact that they know their business and their customers more than the agency does. It’s also because it’s their business that will ultimately be impacted by the quality of the delivered site. If it’s successful, it will contribute to the growth of their business. If it fails, their business will suffer and customers will not express their dissatisfaction with the agency but instead with the company itself. So the fact that the client’s bottom line is at stake is a very compelling motivator for their wanting to be involved.

    In my experience (although not on every project), agencies tend to put forward ideas for sites which are informed by an understanding of things like usability and accessibility. Clients approach web projects from various perspectives but chiefly from those of marketing and branding. With the DesignRush agency directory you can find the best help you need for your marketing strategy and branding service, you need to work with a professional as this is the first impression to make it memorable on the consumers and it allows them to know what to expect of your company and appeal them to come back. There are many areas that are used to develop a brand including advertising, customer service, promotional merchandise and all of them can be worked by a digital agency.

    Most successful web projects result from a productive synthesis of these two sets of interests, and any implication that clients aren’t involved in the process—and therefore aren’t responsible when things go wrong—is highly inaccurate.