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Discussion: Generating Work From Old Sites


Sean Lee-Amies

Browsing the web is a little bit like looking at your life long design portfolio. There are some good bits, some bad bits and then there are just some bits which need to be hidden from civilisation. There are a lot of bad websites out there, unfortunately, and this is usually down to one of two things, the first obviously being a lack of funding. It's completely understandable that people and businesses don't prioritise their website or perhaps other marketing materials, especially if they're a small company, as often you don't need things to look great in order to sell your products or services. Own brand value products in supermarkets serve as testament to this.
What about the other reason though? Well, more and more I find that when talking to prospective clients who have poorly designed websites I find that actually, they are happy with their website. This has baffled me for some time. How can they be happy with this joke of a website, I've often thought. And we're not talking about sites that just look a little dated, we're talking about sites that genuinely aren't fit for purpose, from both an aesthetic and functional view. I'm sure that psychology can offer a lot of explanations here, such as people wanting to defend their purchasing decisions, I mean, no one wants to admit to the world that they paid for something that they don't like, right?
Is it possible though, that as designers who study, review, and surround themselves with beautiful design on such a regular basis, that our perception of good design is fundamentally different to that of someone not in design. Is it possible that some people simply don't know what good design is? To draw a parallel, you could show me the engine of a ford focus and a Lamborghini and other than making assumptions and getting lucky, I probably wouldn't be able to tell you one from the other. I make this assumption because I've seen so few engines in my life time that I wouldn't even know the obvious differences between the two, such as size and uh... you get the point.
If only there was a way, a magic set of instructions of things to say and do, that would allow you to tap into this line of work. People are always grateful (if it's done the right way) of being educated and shown the right path, so jobs starting from such a situation would make it a lot easier to secure life long clients.
Has anyone else had experience with this, perhaps you have the magic set of instructions? Do you think there are other reasons or solutions to this situation? Google didn't seem to know much on the subject so I thought I'd bring it to the attention of the DF community!


Staff member
All I'll say is if you're thinking of contacting a company ring them. I've been getting a load of the 'we can help your seo' spam recently in my inbox (I know why and will be fixed properly with new site) and I literally go... oh you again, delete or add to spam list etc