Perhaps a bit harsh but this is something that has been plaguing Web Design Agencies for years, let me explain.
What is ‘Design-by-Committee’?
When a single goal or aim takes a back seat to ‘letting everyone have their say’.
When a group of two or more business owners have a vision to hire a design agency to build their new website, or redesign their old site, they all have their own ideas and thoughts on how it should look and work. They all put their ideas forward and come to a happy medium whereby all of their ideas are appeased and added to the initial brief.
The Designer in question has to take their brief and do all he/she can to please the members of the committee. This is nigh on impossible.
What we often end up with is a middle ground, whereby all members have had some of their input included but the site completely misses the initial goal or aim. This is where the original vision and purpose of the new web site has completely lost out to ‘pleasing the committee’.
This is a sure fire way to have a mish-mash of a design with flawed functionality.
Stick to the Plan
Whether the new site is to attract interest, sell products or even a first port of call for any new customer, make sure you stick to the plan!
The end-users are the most important thing to your site so think about what they would want, what would they want to see? It easy to say “Well that site has got that element, so I want it” but look beyond the obvious and think ‘Why have they got that?” and “Is it appropriate to my customers or potential customers”
Don’t ignore the ideas and skills of the designers/developers that YOU have hired.
Although they don’t know your business or industry they can often steer you in the right direction on how to communicate directly to you customers and potential customers. Listen to them.
Here is some further reading on Design-by-Committee and how to approach having a new web site or redesigning your existing site.
Secure searches for Google.com users are now available at https://www.google.com helping us all make private searches even if we are connecting via an unsecured network (even the Google maps sniffer car can’t snoop on that – see my previous post). With the use of an SSL Google are effectively creating an encrypted tunnel between your browser and their servers, meaning that your searches cannot be sniffed out by people wanting to gather data on you.
Using technology commonly found on ecommerce sites, Google have improved security across the web for the user, not to mention making browsing in China an all together safer experience.
Somewhere along the road to cloud based storage accessed through web applications a weary programmer sighed and pointed out that you would not have access to your data if you have no internet connection. The response was to add local client side storage as part of the HTML5 spec. Hence-forth you could keep a copy of all your data on your local machine for your web apps to access. Possibly the same programmer pointed out that while this was indeed a solution wouldn’t it require everyone to have fully HTML5 compliant browsers ? I imagine there was a lot of frowning from various people at this point. Never fear though because more clever programming chaps have come up with ways to have client side storage on all browsers. Yes, even those produced by Microsoft, which incidentally have had this ability since IE5.5.
Store.js – http://github.com/marcuswestin/store.js
Lawnchair – http://brianleroux.github.com/lawnchair/
PersistJS – http://pablotron.org/?cid=1557
MilkCrate – http://github.com/garrow/milkcratejs
Google’s all seeing eye just keeps on getting worse! As if the whole streetcar invasion wasn’t enough bad press they just had to go one step further…
Taking unauthorised pictures of people and property left a bad taste in the public’s mouth, but Google’s most recent scandal takes the biscuit! Incase you hadn’t heard, Google’s latest potential law suit involves the monitoring of data sent over unsecured Wi-Fi networks in 30 countries.
Only after the German authorities requested to view Google’s logs did Google admit to having gathered `pay load` data as well as SSID’s and MAC addresses by sniffing packets on open networks and loging what was been sent and received. Google amassed a total of 600Gb of data via their already controversial street view cars.
Just another story indicating the importance of encrypting your Wi-Fi network.
Nary a month on from the UK launch of the iPad it’s iPhone 4 day. Beyond the sight of people getting giddy over expensive consumer electronics the proliferation of mobile devices with all sorts of different resolutions and orientations raises the question of how best to serve web content that can be viewed as nature intended on all these devices. We’re not even past clients asking for pages that “fit on one screen” to which we invariably point to articles such as this – http://www.cxpartners.co.uk/thoughts/the_myth_of_the_page_fold_evidence_from_user_testing.htm – so how do we build for everyone ?
One answer are CSS media queries. Simply put these allow you to supply different CSS depending upon queries about the devices resolution and orientation. For more information see http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2010/04/using-css-media-queries-ipad.html and http://www.alistapart.com/articles/responsive-web-design/
Microsoft have announced that the third platform preview of IE9 is available to download and it’s a doozy. On top of their previously announced support for the Video tag we’re now getting a full Canvas implementation. Not only that but it’s fully hardware accelerated too meaning that rendering speeds for complex animations are now faster than competitors browsers. The icing on the cake ? That’ll be the support for ECMAScript 5.