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zen of web design

From: bob5000 <bob5000_at_gawab.com@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 03 Apr 2009 03:29:05 -0800
Message-ID: <49D5F301.4DE1_at_gawab.com>
To: public-webarch-comments_at_w3.org
I've been both a client for and a creator of marketing materials: 
print, trade show, radio, Web, direct mail.  I've been responsible for 
giving advertising and PR firms direction on the message and the form of 
what I want created.  I've also been responsible for creating such 

There may be a Zen (properly capitalized, although, I understand a 
Martian whose name is all lower-case may have a bias against 
capitalization) quality at work, but I think that is something that may 
arise only dependent upon the individuals involved.  Indeed, I have 
worked with totally clueless and Zen-less ad and PR firms.  Gestalt was 
not in their vocabulary. And some of them actually did really nice work.

That said, the burden is on both.  Somehow the client must express his 
concept and desires regarding both form and content in a cogent way. 
Likewise, the provider must be able to articulate what they believe is 
pertinent and "best practice" given the industry, medium and message.

Other than that it's pretty much a total cluster-f**k of a process where 
I say:

1.  Do A
2.  Communicate B
3.  Make it look like C

And the vendor comes with:

1.  We thought A was short for Asinine which we think your idea was
2.  "B?  We don't like saying "B" so we didn't say that at all"
3.  "Our design approach (even though it looks nothing at all like the 
other half-million dollars of media your business uses) isn't "C."  We 
much prefer a Beta-Phi approach to capturing the zeitgeist of our 
current dynamic marketplace and ..."

Which is when I say:

"What part of 'I'm paying you to do what I want' do you not understand?"

Now, I'm not talking about mechanics here.  Not what DOCTYPE to use, nor 
what kind of printing press, nor what microphone to use for recording 
the radio ad.  I'm talking about the final product, not how they get 
there.  I want their input and creative expertise.  But if I'm ordering 
a 10 x 10 trade show booth design I don't want them coming back with an 
8,000 square-foot two-story architectural drawing.

Received on Monday, 6 April 2009 09:23:04 GMT

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