Over the years, working in web design or development departments, we have seen that the typical attitude of such a department is “get the site done and invoice ASAP”.
A few years back, the company I worked for decided to outsource the development of a website for one of our products. This ‘web design agency’ simply requested us to choose a template (not designed or developed by them), asked us to provide basic content and a few photographs, basic contact information (not a contact form), and then charged us an arm and a leg.
Because of this ‘standard’ treatment working in a few departments, I decided this would not be how I ran things. Yes, there is a fine line between what a client requires and what they like, and not always are client tastes in line with capabilities and functionality, best-practice or sound design theory, however I believe in trying to merge the gap in the understanding of clients vs developers, and in using strong communication to build a rapport that will then allow for explanation of what the developers genuinely recommend to addressing what the client wants.
Based on such communication can there exist open, honest and trustworthy relationships. I have found that in lacking this, there tends to develop a dislike of one party towards the other.
This is why my mindset always leans towards actually listening to what the client is saying, and to try cater for it, going beyond the simple ‘choose a template”, or “you’re just another invoice number” attitude. Now I am not saying that every agency is like that, especially today, but it is something that should be part of every business culture.
So I ask (metaphorically speaking), would you like fries with that?