The website design process usually involves a business or individual briefing a designer. But is that good enough, or does the end-user, the consumer, deserve proper consideration too?

We believe the needs of the people who will be using the website are just as important as the desires of the client, the business or individual who wants a website designed.

Are we ‘yes men’? No, we aren’t!

It can be tough driving home the message that ends user experience is just as important, if not more so than the requirements of the organisation commissioning the design. Clients are, after all, important people and designers need to keep them happy. But we believe it’s vital always to think about end users’ needs as well as those of the client.

That’s why we’re not ‘yes’ men. If we believe that you’re making an enormous mistake, briefing us to design something that’ll irritate your audience and affect your business negatively, or balls up your website visibility, or do anything else unwise, we will say so. We won’t just go ahead with something that we know, as design and marketing professionals, will alienate or annoy the people who buy your stuff or otherwise compromise your chances of success.

When marketers don’t put consumers first

Too many marketers don’t take enough note of how customers feel, which is strange since every one of us, no matter what job we do, are consumers.

Take the 15-inch colour media screens fitted in London’s licensed cabs. TV screens in taxis seem like a brilliant marketing coup until you put yourself in a consumer’s shoes… at which point it begins to look pretty heavy handed.

The screens are designed to “play content including news, entertainment and sport while also allowing a brand new marketing medium for advertisers.” But do you enjoy being a captive audience in the back of a cab, advertised at whether you like it or not? What if you just want to sit in peace without the telly rabbiting at you? Do you have a choice?

As one taxi advertising firm says, “Advertising on internal taxi screens offers further opportunity to extend your campaign to the interior of the vehicle while passengers are in an isolated, comfortable and captive environment.” Quite. But that doesn’t mean taxi users like it or enjoy being a captive audience. And there’s no mention of whether people can choose to turn the dratted thing off.

The ‘internet of things’ sails close to the wind

Much the same goes for the much-vaunted internet of things. As a business, you can put a sensor on an item that a consumer buys. The sensor is programmed to collect data, often including behavioural data, which the company then uses to ‘improve the customer experience’ over time.

This all sounds fantastic until you put your consumer head on and realise, as a punter, that you might not be allowed to choose whether or not your data is collected and used by people who want to encourage you to buy more of their stuff. Put it that way and it suddenly seems sinister, with echoes of Big Brother.

We help you put your customers first

In a world where sensor tech is about to go mainstream, and the internet of things is on the horizon, it’s more important than ever to put the needs, desires and preferences of consumers first. And that’s what we do.

We won’t say ‘no’ if you want us to do something we feel will adversely affect the way ordinary users feel about your brand. But we will make sure you have an accurate picture of the implications before you make a final decision.

If you want to work with web design experts who listen to your needs but are not afraid to say when you’re heading down a wrong track, get in touch. While our job involves making you happy, it doesn’t mean quietly going ahead with things we know won’t do your business any good, or even harm it.

In short, we’re always considering punters’ feelings at the web design stage, as well as thinking about what the site owner wants.