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Why do you do what you do the way you do it

Contemporary invitations

This is a question I have often been asked.

Why do you do what you do the way you do it? Why don’t you just go full blown website? Wouldn’t it be much easier for you?

The answer in one quick word would be yes.  But then again no.  I have mulled it over in my head over and over again.  Why do we do what we do the way we do it.  Besides the fact that I like to add the personal touch to my business (something I feel is very important in this industry) it has only just dawned me as a result of an experience I have been having.

I have been working with a web design company to update the webpage and have found it to be one of the most frustrating things I have had to do for some time.  It’s not that I don’t know what I want.  It’s not that I haven’t described what I want.  It’s not that I can’t see what I want.  The challenge is in explaining what I want to someone who sees it very differently to the way I see it.

What’s involved in the process

Firstly you are given a questionnaire.  This took me about 4 hours to complete.  Which websites do you like, which websites don’t you like, why do you like this one and not that one.  What colours do you want to use, do have a favourite font, how would you like it set out.  Boy I didn’t know there was that much involved in designing a web site.  Up until now I thought I had done a reasonable job on both our current one and its predecessor, we had after all ranked in the top 20 on Google, no mean feat I had thought.

Draft 1 comes back

Even though I had told them the only thing I really wanted to keep, because I have had all the business cards printed and all the banners etc for the Bridal Expos made, was the logo and the colour, the first draft came back and oh, is that what I have waited three weeks for.  It looked almost exactly like the old website.  They had changed the white stripes in the background out for a bit of a flourish though.

The email accompanying the draft says, “let me know your thoughts”. mmmmm not too smart, if you know me at all.  So I rang the team leader of the design team and told him what I thought.  Sent him our logo.  Sent him links to some websites I liked.  Told him I wanted something with “pizazz”, and please have another go.

Shortly after this phone call I get a call from the guy I had spoken to when I first rang them to inquire about helping me and he asks have I seen the mock-up.  Of course I said yes.  OOpppps wrong answer, his response was I wish you hadn’t.  He says it’s substandard.  I feel a little better as I feel someone is understanding me at last.  He says leave it to me I will have it fixed.

Draft 2 comes back

Waiting, waiting waiting.  2 more weeks.  I ring to find out what the hold up is.  I speak to the guy who said to leave it with him.  He goes and checks, comes back and says it should be with me in about 5 minutes, but please to give him feed back.  I say that doesn’t sound too good.  His response it could be better.  With trepidation I await the arrival of draft 2.

Yay draft 2 finally comes back.  So why do I feel so deflated.  Why do I feel so disappointed.  This is not fair.  I have told them exactly what I want.  Am I speaking Spanish.  No I am not.  I told them I want pizazz.  Why have they given me bland and boring.

So far everything has been done via email and over the web.  All discussions have been over the phone.  No personal interaction at all.

Suddenly it dawns on me.  They just don’t understand me.  They don’t understand pizazz.  They are young, trendy, tech savvy, dare I say computer nerds.  They understand how to do “IT” but they don’t understand pizazz.  Even though I did send them my thoughts via the web.

So why do we do what we do the way we do it?

The answer is easy, I don’t understand everything you want either.  You might say contemporary, and I might understand that to mean traditional.   You might say light pink and I understand mid pink.  You might say squarish when in actual fact you mean square.   All of these things are much easier described in person.

I get a much better feel for light pink when you can choose from a swatch of papers.  I understand your version of contemporary when you choose your version of contemporary from my previous samples.  (Sometimes contemporary isn’t contemporary at all).  And square is square, but then again it might also be a wallet, or even a butterfly fold.

So now you see why we do what we do the way we do it and I hope it all makes sense (it did while I was writing it).

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