Design by Metaphor

by Jack Zeal

22 Reader Comments

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  1. I think having the client give existing web site examples as design direction is great. However, the designer shouldn’t leave it at that and start designing. What the client likes about the site may very well differ from the designer’s view.

    Ask “Why?” to clarify.

    Using the eBay example, if you ask the client why he chose the site, he might confess it’s really the position of the logo, menu, sub navigation, etc. that grabs him. You might have been thinking primarily of the colors, fonts, and image treatments…and you would have wasted time trying to emulate aspects the client never felt passionate about in the first place, and at the same time, downplay elements the client really wanted.

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  2. Enjoyed this article (just having a little trawl through the back issues here)

    I have to agree with Peter here. Client similes are useful for explaining design decisions and helping the client visualize graphical elements and process but it’s really your job as the designer to ensure that the final product fulfills their key business objectives. When they say “like ebay” they also mean “successful like ebay.”

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