I’ve been realizing lately that there is a big problem in the web design/development field: we aren’t thought of as experts. Ok maybe that’s not completely true, but I’ve seen a lot of clients “guiding” the process. But actually, maybe this is our own fault, so how can we fix it?
Be the Expert
We have to remember that we are the web experts in this relationship. We need to show confidence when talking with clients. Talk authoritatively about the details of the project and show them that we know what we are talking about. Just like we wouldn’t go tell an architect how to design a house, our clients need to trust us to build their website.
Stick to Your Guns
So let’s say a client suggests something that you know would work better if you did it a different way; don’t just say yes to the client, make your suggestion and build a case for it. Reference other examples. Site statistics. Fight for the best solution. Remember, you are the expert.
Read, Browse, and Read Some More
The web is full of great articles, bad examples of web sites, good examples of web sites, and much more. So by just spending time browsing the web, you can amass a huge amount of knowledge about what works and what doesn’t. This will provide you with loads of ammunition to use when clients need your guidance.
I struggle with it all the time. It’s hard to say no to a client when they are the ones paying you. But the best thing to do is to make your suggestions, back it up with statistics & examples, and hope that the client trusts your judgment.
Remember, you are the expert.