Group review – is it necessary? (Especially for websites)

Too many cooks spoils the broth.

I can’t find any other proverbs more sound than this. I came across an article once, which I regretfully forgot the link, that summarizes the personality of a client. There is one in particular that is the most difficult to deal in the lot. At this moment I have yet to find a foolproof solution to this, as so far the closest client I have that belonged to this group we have pulled out from the project after it has been dragged on for more than a year.

Anyway, what I’m trying to explain here is the danger of “over-reviewing” a design.

Now, why a design will be over-reviewed in the first place? How does that happen?

Two possibilities -

  1. Client is not confident of your work
  2. Client is not confident of himself

I would not want to be biased and pinpoint the problem is only at the client’s side, but let’s just say the client has hired a good and experienced designer. And this scenario occurred – that the design could not be finalized even after 10 revisions, because it has been bounced to all departments, seeking an unanimously vote of YES!

Well, frankly, that would be the slimmest chance of happening.

Let’s put this into another analogy – say the home you are living. Frankly are you really 100% happy with it? When it was handed back to you with the keys, was the paint job perfect? Was the tiles all cut properly and placed in a straight and flawless order? Was the basin stainless and without any scratches? Was the roof tiles placed in properly and without any cracks? Were there any cracks on the wall as well?

The fact is, NOTHING in this world is a finished, perfect product. Not even Mona Lisa. It is the reason why it has gone through so many revisions, painted upon itself and itself, over and over again. Even the most complicated structure or even a nuclear reactor –  it is not perfect. That is why it needs to be maintained. What many people doesn’t see this is because these large scale structures are beyond their control. But for a piece of design, say a website, now, that is something they can control (I have to exaggerate this a little so that you would know how the comparison works).

And thus, the client would then send this design to everyone that he trusts, and hoping to get a full nod that it is perfect. What he forgot was that a piece of design is extremely subjective and everyone would have their own tastes. You don’t see them liking the same colour or using the same brand of products!

If you found that you are this type of personality, you need to let it go. You have to make to a point that when it is finished, it is finished. Just like when you had your house renovated, you do not have to necessarily micro inspect the finishes. All you need to do is to inspect the work as a whole. So this should be applied to the design as well. Because people who are seeing it will not bring a microscope and inspect your house in every petty detail.

By reviewing a design over, and over and over again you have not only delayed the project, which have slowed down the possibility of generating business for you (with every name card you pass to your potential clients, you risk them checking your website everyday), but also you are wasting money and time from your employees.

To me, scrutinizing a website is really bad decision. Take a step back. Stop staring at the tiniest detail, and look at it like a single piece of painting.

Just one question – since when do you actually cared about Yahoo’s design, or any news portal that you have visited? Are their design flawless? Do you access these information websites to enjoy the design or your main intention is just to access the news?

And lastly – when you hire a web designer,  you are hiring him for his expertise. If you took him in, means you must trust him for his skills, knowledge and know-how. The moment you have doubts about him, then it’s either you have trusted the wrong person, or that you just never trusted your own judgement.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.