Website Objectives vs. Personal Preferences

Being a designer for over a decade now, I’ve witnessed many clients let their personal preferences dictate design and thwart the overall objective of the design.

The purpose of graphic and web design is to communicate and support marketing objectives. Marketing all goes back to meeting the unmet psychological needs and wants of your target market. The design of a marketing piece needs to resonate with your target audience in order for it to be effective.

Despite this fact, I’ll still hear clients say things like, “My husband is an artist. I’ll show this to him and get his opinion on it.” This doesn’t make sense for two reasons:

1) The husband most likely doesn’t fit the demographic for the target audience, and
2) Art and design are two completely separate things.

The difference between design and art is that design is intentional and serves a purpose. Good design is where form meets function. Good design looks professional (form) and resonates with the target market (function).

When successful, marketing will elicit a response from your audience—it could be as simple as a request for more information, downloading a whitepaper or achieving your optimal goal—making a purchase.

Below are three tips for making sure your personal preferences don’t hinder the effectiveness of your design.

  • Stay objective – keep focused on the end goal. Ask yourself, is the feedback you’re giving personally motivated or is it truly about creating an effective marketing piece that meets your business objectives and speaks to your target audience?
  • Remember it’s not about you – it’s about your prospects and customers. If your favorite color combinations are blue and green, but you are marketing to adolescent girls, think again about letting those preferences impact the design. Paint your house blue and green and let the designer pick out an appropriate color palette for your marketing materials and website.
  • Listen to the professionals. You hired a marketing team and designer for a reason—to get their expert guidance and professional service. You know your business and your customer profile best, but they know how to create compelling marketing. Work together and be careful not to dictate. Would you tell your mechanic how to fix your car? No, they would present the best options and then you choose.

We all have our own opinions and preferences about mostly everything—be it clothing styles, favorite colors, food, music, cars, hobbies—everything. But your personal preferences should be left at the door when it comes to design objectives.

You are the client. Your opinions matter. BUT make sure your feedback is based on a potential customers’ needs and wants—not your own.

The bottom line is: Don’t let personal preferences interfere with the objective of the design. You will only waste time, resources and have ineffective marketing programs created.


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