Don’t BYOD (Bring Your Own Design)

This is a term we have often come across on the back of hastily written party invitations. To me it generally signifies the task or activity you are planning to attend is on a budget or planned only insofar as “getting together”. This is perfectly fine and acceptable. Some of the best BBQs I’ve ever been to were organized in this fashion.
There are times when it’s fitting to BYO (Bring Your Own):
  • Beer
  • Chair
  • Food
However, this isn’t always the case.
If you were to BYO beer (insert any of the two if you’d like, but it won’t sound as good) at a 5-star restaurant it probably wouldn’t be very well received. Why? If you were to ask the maître d he would most likely say something like this:
“Well sir, I believe bringing your own beer signifies you may not fully understand the kind of restaurant you are looking to dine at. See, this is a fine dining establishment that prides itself in curating the best beverages and food around. It is the quality and attention to detail that give our customers the best experience. When you bring your own items, you are essentially blocking us from doing what we do best, and cutting yourself off from the customer services and experience that earned us our rating.”
You can easily see how this would parallel custom web design. When your bring your own design you are essentially removing the “design” and replacing it with “already designed”. So you now have “Custom Web Already Designed” projects, kinda defeats the purpose. I wouldn’t take instant potatoes to a chef.
This locks your creative team into working with the specified parameters of the design that you have supplied (It’s about as creative as making a movie about teenage vampires).
If you look at one of my earlier posts (Web Artisans Do It Best) you can see you might not even be using the best tools for designing your website (i.e. MS PowerPoint).
So ask yourself these three key questions (click on the “+” to see my response):

We can’t fault you for trying to save a little cash (money doesn’t grow on trees). Since we’re all being honest here, I’ve brought outside candy into the movie theater before and it was delicious. The only thing that made it not enjoyable was the paranoia (I could tell people knew I was eating non-theater candy because it sounds different when you open it).

I digress, the key thing here is when you try and cut corners you end up with a completely different shape (try cutting corners on a cube and you’ll see my point). If you hired a reputable company, creativity should be included in the scope of the project.

Perfect, that means you have an idea of what you’re looking for. Fortunately most web design companies have design portfolios on tap (no pun intended). They should be able to give you great examples of similar websites or better yet, dissect the design and turn around a site mock up that reflects YOUR company.

We hear you loud and clear. Web design firms should have a written explanation of what to expect like we do here (Our Process), in the same way that good restaurants have menus and staff that explain the food.

You should know what you are getting into before you jump in, and it’s nice to have someone guide you through new experiences.

Don’t sell yourself short.
If you want a high end website that showcases your company, USE the web designers you are planning to hire. Avail yourself of their creative talents.

It’s encouraged to bring samples of what you are looking for as a foundation, but don’t lock yourself in before you even get to decide this is where you want to be.