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.

  • Clare Brace – eStlering

    Great post Adam, I totally agree with what you’re saying.

    A great website is designed by a specialist because they know how to convey in design what to say, how to say it and considers who your saying it to. it’s not about personal taste or compromised group decisions, a site based on this foundation is far less likely to delivery a good return on investment.

    It can be easy for clients to become carried away especially given how creative and functional a website can be, but they should always remember, the users needs of the user and business objectives should come before personal preference.

  • Jon Jauncey

    Too many Cooks…