Here is a post I spotted on the website Clients From Hell:
CLIENT: Can I remove the Inventory Search Page? I think it’s redundant to have.
ME: Why would you do that? How are people supposed to search your inventory?
CLIENT: They can click here, then click here, then click down here, then click on the model. Your inventory list will appear that way.
ME: You want to get rid of the second most clicked page on your website? If I were visiting your site, and didn’t see an inventory link, I’d be frustrated.
CLIENT: Then convince me to keep it. Give me one good reason.
ME: I just gave you two.
This was not the most humorous post — by a long shot — but it is most closely related to several experiences I had while freelancing as a writer and copywriter several years ago. This scenario highlights a number of issues a freelancer might face when dealing with clients looking to outsource their web design work.
First, the client is not the expert in web design here. They try to use logic from their schema, but often they are just wrong. A designer doesn’t want to come out and say, “You’re wrong”, so he/she will tactfully probe for the issue. Perhaps this client feels that the longer a visitor is on the site, the better. But in this case, the longer the visitor stays, the more frustrated he/she will get, and the less likely they will be to return.
It is very important to recognize the importance of prominently placing the most popular features of a website. If a users knows what they want when they arrive at a site, give it to them quickly, by all means. Wading through unwanted information will be a deterrent.
Additionally, the more options users are given – without overkill –to get to the most popular features of a website, the better an experience they will have, and better feeling from doing business with a company. In some cases, redundancy is a good thing.
Web design, yes. Writing, no.