Pride Before the Fall

As digital designers and developers, we tend to blow our own trumpet a great deal of the time. Especially when freelancing or contracting because we can be our own boss with our own rules being as elite as we want to be.

An example is Photoshop. A pretty seasoned application that even most peoples grandmothers have heard of. Even editing a photo is referred to as 'photoshopping'; now that's a pretty established app. But yes, we will all sit around demanding to be heard how crap it is for web design, and you know what? We are bloody right. It will do the job and many professionals make amazing sites using it but yes there are better alternatives that not only make the work better but also quicker and easier.

The point that I am getting at is sometimes you need to suck it up. If a boss or client demands you work with Photoshop because the development team is comfortable working with .psd files. Sure sometimes you could advise on certain methods and tools but generally, you should just put up and shut up, especially if you are a new member of the team. Similar is if you are a freelancer that has been asked to code up the HTML in Bootstrap to then be ported over into a WordPress theme. These two particular things I don't like as a personal and professional preference. Bootstrap is cluttered more than a middle-aged man's garage and WordPress is a borderline asthmatic liability, to say the least. Now, these two particular things are some of the most popular methods online for creating web sites, so seriously even though I feel I know better (which I do) through experience how can I persuade a client that is paying me to use an alternative if they give me realistic reasons why. Simple, I don't. In some circumstances, I may, but when I know that they know better and have great knowledge of the ins and outs of web site creation I choose to not be an elitist arsehole and do my job, advising is different from demanding.

If this is what they want, why should we be causing problems and demanding things be done how we believe they should? We shouldn't.

Sometimes us types can have a reputation of running wild with the latest trends and then later, four months down the road completely flip-flopping to something totally different that has been featured on Producthunt. It’s ok for us to push a certain technology for early adoption if we have tested it when it’s for a client, it can sometimes seem like they are paying us and we are using them as an experiment. I would recommend clients asking their designers what they will use as a CMS and why? There should be a solid reason why this is the choice, rather than just concentrating on the actual aesthetics, which are important along with the user experience and user interface, but remember, the backend where you deal with all the content and security should be rock solid. No one seems to talk through these options. Also, the backend should vary depending on the functions and future scope of the web site or application. Maybe a static site generator is perfect, maybe a custom Laravel setup or a full-blown Node.js app is in order. If your designers and developers are not asking these questions then they are more worried about their own portfolio and pride rather than the business that you as a client are building up.