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View Poll Results: Who should control how a site looks - designer or use?

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  • The designer of course! We make it, we should control how it looks...

    8 47.06%
  • Pfft, it has to be the user! That's the way the web should work.

    9 52.94%
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  1. #1
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    Who should have more control over how a page looks - the designer or the user?

    This should be fun

    Personally I say the user - I'll post reasons once this thread gets going.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict jbradley's Avatar
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    I would also say the user should have more control. Although it is the designer's creation, it's ultimately the user who will have to decide whether or not they like the design and whether it is useful, annoying, etc. No two people are the same, and it's impossible to design a site that satisfies everyone. Therefore, it's only reasonable that the user should have as much control as possible.

    Just my 2 cents!

    Jason
    Jason Bradley
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  3. #3
    ********* Genius Mike's Avatar
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    I completely agree. If the user doesnt like the design, they'll most likely be turned off from the site, maybe even never go to it again. Where does that leave the designer?
    Mike
    It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.

  4. #4
    . Ruchir's Avatar
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    this is how it goes -
    A designer designs the sites for looks
    A user makes the site, can it cook?

    its like a user if he likes the site, the site goes good and his feed back makes the site look good. So its the user who decides the site goona rock or not ! designer has to do as the user wish or the site goes into the pit !
    Peace.

  5. #5
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    If its a commercial site then you have no choice but to please the user.

    I suppose thats why so many designers set up their own experimental websites to flex their design muscle. Some is breathtaking, some make no sense and would be lost in the commercial world. Whatever is the case they are all important in pushing the boundries of web design.


    Qamar

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast Decoy's Avatar
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    The site should always reflect how the user dreamed it would be when they got that first idea.

    By taking on the role as the designer, you must be careful not to turn it into your dream otherwise the user will feel like it's not theirs anymore.

    We are there to interpret their idea for them to see, and maybe guide them in the direction of how it could look, helping them develop their idea more.

    I think users like to feel they are 'involved' in the design process, and the more they are involved, the more they'll enjoy the final product.

  7. #7
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    The designer should have control, as someone stated earlier no two people have the same likes or dislikes. So to try and please the most users the designer would end up designing for the lowest common denomnator and sites would all be the same, but they still would not please everyone.

    If designers simply catered to users tastes we would have no innovation, for instance many people in these forums give http://www.2advanced.com as an example of excellent design, when it came out it was different from the rest , an original design, the designers went with what they liked and knew would work, but 2advanced would have never exsisted if designers just followed what users are used to.

    If other media such as films followed this path we would just get an endless string of romantic comedies and semi-retarded action films. Not anything decent like schindlers list or trainspotting, luckily not all film makers listen to public opinion, realising that not everyone has their talent or vision and they go with there own ideas. The same should apply to design.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast Clampants's Avatar
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    I design two different types of sites...

    ...first, I design learning sites and online documents for a large corporation. In this setting, the user drives all functional considerations. There have been times when our team has tended to create sites that use our own "web development" jargon (in navigation, site elements, etc), which make no sense to the user (in our case, very non-web-savvy users). As web-savvy designers, we bring a LOT of assumptions and biases to the table, and sometimes those can come through in our designs and our projects. Since we are creating learning tools, content drives the design, and the users drive/create the content.

    (as a caveat, as far as pure look and feel goes, I as a designer has more say over it...else we'd have a lot of sites with Microsoft clip-art as the only design elements...but we keep our design elements subtle, almost transparent...as I said before, content drives the designs)

    My personal sites? Hell, that is all me

    I guess, as with many discussions it seems, there is no hard and fast answer...it "depends on the audience."

    Tim
    http://www.clampants.com | http://www.fivesevenfive.com
    Last edited by Clampants; May 14, 2002 at 06:54.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict goma's Avatar
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    IMHO, the designer created the site to suit the audience and his purposes. Thus in a sense the audience "designs" the site. If the designer knows what he's doing, he keep his or her eyes on what the site's goals are and knows what the visitors will need and want.

    But to properly provide the information to the audience, make it appealing and still satisfy usability and other issues is the hard part and that's where the designer's skill comes in. I used to be sceptical of "graphics" sites (usually just one huge sliced image with pop-ups and list menus for navigation) but I realize that although they probably go against all that people like Jakob Neilsen stand for, they have an audience that don't mind the slow download or the strange navigation. Now if their audience keeps coming back, then they're doing all right after all.

    2advanced is another example. I didn't know about it until I surfed the designer message boards and sites. It's obviously made to blow people away and it does so quite well; Coolhomepages visitors rank it as the most visited site. It's all flash but people like it. If its goal is to impress clients and stun designers into silenced awe, then I'd say the design works well. I can think of other sites with a lot more impressing animation but doesn't get the same accolades as 2advanced.

    If you design for a specific goal and audience, you can't go wrong. But if you keep trying to use the wrong tool for the job and don't think about your average visitor, then it's not going to work as intended.
    http://www.soapbox101.com

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    A designer designs the sites for looks
    Somewhere (maybe here on SitePoint) I read an article that said to beware of web designers that view their sites a works of art. As a designer, the challenge seem to be to design a site that both looks good and is usable.

    One of the best articles I've read on the topic of designing for your intended audience is at ALA: http://www.alistapart.com/stories/who/


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