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24 ways to impress your friends

Vote down?

Andy Clarke

Woah, too many comments to reply to, so I’ll paraphrase three. Also, tomorrow’s article will…

1. “If these people are as happy and proud as the story says they are, they are bound to talk about it to others. The design differences will come up and there will be a lot of explaining to be done.”

— It usually goes like this.

(Mike:)“I saw the design on Sam’s IE7 today and she doesn’t see the rounded corners or shadows. Can IE not ‘do’ those?”

(Me:) No. IE uses very old technology. I can hack the site to use lots of images and other things, but that will likely slow the site down for everyone. Plus it means that I will tie the HTML to the visual layout, making the site less flexible (and expensive) to update in the future.

It’s your choice, you’re paying. You can either spend my time and your money on hacks for a diminishing return, or we can spend it on making more cool functionality. What’s it to be?”

(Mike:) “Let’s do the cool stuff.”

2. “Its an interesting read, but I dont know any agencies who would actually build a demo of the website before a design mockup is approved. Almost all of our clients request several concepts, iterations and lots of changes.”

— Of course it depends on the HTML/CSS skills of an individual, but spending an hour or two making an actual web page to show a client (hell, use a framework if you must) will save you hours, sometimes days later on. The client wants changes or even a complete new look? That will be simpler and faster in HTML and CSS than it could ever be in Photoshop. Not that fast in CSS? Get faster.

3. “I’m curious though, do you ever address the cross-browser issue with the client during a project? I think some designers feel like they’d be hiding something from the client if they didn’t mention it at all.”

— Rarely. And it’s not hiding. I don’t want to know or need to know about how my suit is made, just that it fits and I look sharp. When the issue does come up, explain the facts of life in simple terms to clients, managers, brand execs or anyone. Tell them, browsers are different, the web is not a static canvas, anything can be done, but everything must be paid for and sometimes something has to give. Given the choice between better functionality or cross-browser perfection, most will go for functionality can helps them make money — every time.