Let the designer design …

So, a lot has been written about Steve Jobs this past week or so, (and for what it’s worth, this Stephen Fry piece is my favourite), but the quote below is one that is resonating particularly strongly with me at the moment.

You can’t just ask the customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.

I don’t want to get into too many details because, clearly, I’m writing about a (soon to be ex) client (no, not you – obviously, someone else).  But it goes back to this basic point: you hire a web designer (or accountant, or lawyer, or architect, or whatever …) to provide expertise and knowledge that you do not have.  Let them do that job.  You’re paying good money for their expertise, for their knowledge – don’t waste it.  Andy Rutledge has said this far better than I can:

… if you’re the client, you describe problems or concerns and the designer then shows you changes. If you’re asking for changes you’re the one doing the designing. In that case there’s no need for you to have hired a designer and you’re wasting money. In fact in this scenario, … you’re definitely taking the pressure off the designer because he’s no longer designing. He’s just taking and filling your orders; like a waiter. Congratulations. You have a failed project.

You owe it to yourself to let the designer do the job you’ve hired them for.