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21 June 2011

The Need for a Separate Website Committee

Reasons to have a website committee
Get a website committee on board to keep your website up-to-date.

Website strategies are not particularly suited to the marketing or IT departments in your company. This is because you generally will need a web committee or a webmaster to keep your website running and up-to-date.

The Website Committee

When designing a website, it is important to note the following:

  • The focus should be on what appeals to the visitor and not on what appeals to the individuals within the committee.
  • Don’t try and build a website for everyone that appeals to no one.

The Shortcomings of Designing a Website by Committee

This extract comes from Smashing Magazine and highlights the short comings of website design by committee.

A committee is often formed to tackle the website because internal politics demand that everybody has a say and all considerations be taken into account. To say that all committees are a bad idea is naive, and to suggest that a large corporate website could be developed without consultation is fanciful. However, when it comes to design, committees are often the kiss of death.

Design is subjective. The way we respond to a design can be influenced by culture, gender, age, childhood experience and even physical conditions (such as colour blindness). What one person considers great design could be hated by another. This is why it is so important that design decisions be informed by user testing rather than personal experience. Unfortunately, this approach is rarely taken when a committee is involved in design decisions.

Instead, designing by committee becomes about compromise. Because committee members have different opinions about the design, they look for ways to find common ground. One person hates the blue colour scheme, while another loves it. This leads to designing on the fly, with the committee instructing the web designer to “try a different blue” in the hopes of finding middle ground. Unfortunately, this leads only to bland design that neither appeals to nor excites anyone.

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