Believe it or not, the first person to teach me how to write a program was my mother. Our first computer was a Commodore 64 – and she was a pro at that thing. She has a bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in Reading; not who you’d expect to master BASIC in the early 80’s. In the days before the internet, she did some old-fashioned research, tracked down some books, and experimented a lot with programming until she was ready to teach it in a classroom a few years later. She wrote math programs for me, and she even taught me how to program by giving me the same rules she shared with her classroom, which I’ll share with you.
Not too long ago I had a conversation with a graphic designer who was tasked with designing a website. Web Design was out of her area of immediate expertise, and she asked me if I had anything that I could share with her. After I sent her my email, I realized that I’ve said this before — and I’ll probably say it again. So, in case my mother, or anyone else, asks my thoughts on how to design a website, here are seven rules that I’ll mouth off.
I read, a lot. here’s some recommended reading for those who want to learn more about the web. Some of these speak more to designers, others speak more to the web business owner. Either way, if you want some bright ideas for the web, here’s where I get mine.
Designers and clients come from two different worlds. Two very different worlds; they speak different languages, have different cultures, and can easily get into a fight with each other. Usually, the only thing they’ll have in common is that they both own businesses. With completely different languages, experiences and areas of expertise, it’s hard to make sure you can both walk away from a project completely happy. So let’s talk about four questions you can ask each other to make sure that you get the job done well.
Not every web project needs a web designer or developer. Sometimes all you need a consultant. Whether it’s budget limitations or the fact that you already have the resources, sometimes you’re better served by a designer’s opinion than his work. If you let a web designer act as a consultant, it can actually be great for both parties. He gets the freedom of telling you exactly what he thinks, and you get the choice of listening or doing it your own way.
That’s right, you’re not a Social Media Expert. No one is. I know this contradicts most online marketers’ resumés, but it’s the truth. I don’t deny that there are Social Media analysts, gurus, and students of the field, but I think calling yourself an expert is a bit over-the-top.
Creativity is a fun word. We all value creativity and we see it as a fundamental characteristic of humanity. We love creative people and we all want to be “more creative”. We love The Creatives. Sadly, the corporate world sometimes sees The Creatives a bit like fish; it’s really cool when you have them – but you don’t do anything with them but stare. Unless you’re an expert on fish, you only know a Goldfish from a Beta; so there’s only one type of Creative you ever look for, and that can hurt you.
Writing is tough. Really tough. And chances are, you aren’t great at it. Chances are even greater that you don’t care. You probably aren’t a content producer. But if you’re not, who is? And who should be?
ince I’ve moved into my current position, my life has changed and I’ve gotten closer to identifying my calling: The web. In particular, producing websites which I truly love. Before I moved into my position, I thought that I knew a fair amount about the web, but now I find myself a happily re-educated man.