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    20 Replies Latest reply on Jul 13, 2009 5:21 PM by Iwrite

    Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?

    KittyMartyr Newbie
      Hi, I'm a new member. I'm doing research for an article about the value of Web design awards. For those of you who have chosen or are currently in process of choosing a Web designer for your company site:

      If the designer or firm had won an award (or awards) would that influence your decision making? To what degree?

      I appreciate any feedback anyone cares to give.
        • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
          david_aa Adventurer
          I must admit that i would avoid hiring an awarded designer. At least if i didn't knew him before. It may happen that with getting an award designer can increase the fee, and my beginner business needs a good qualiyt-price ratio.
          • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer, Welcome

            *To answer your question, No,*awards do not influence my choice of a Web designer.

            Go to Members page and share some info. Thanks
            • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
              DomainDiva Ranger
              I chose my designer based on his portfolio and national account exposure as well as his fine art (painting, sculpting and woodworking) skills.
              • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
                puzzleman Tracker
                Awards do influence my decision a little in a negative way.

                My main concerns are examples of your work, what do your clients say about you, can I work with you, can you work with me, do you understand what I am trying to do and what ideas do you have after a week or two to think about it.

                I have also noticed that some places that win awards do not always make enough money to stay in business. I want some one who is making a profit so they can be around to help with future needs.

                Jim

                PS> What publication??
                • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
                  Iwrite Pioneer
                  Yes, they do. The awards in and of themselves are not the "only" determining factor, but I think it speaks to a level of desire to produce work that is not the norm. My job is to make your company or product standout and get notice - I am cheating you if I do everything that everyone else is doing. I have found that those who are involved in the awards show are the same ones who tend to stay on top of the latest advances in art direction and web design. This is not a rule but it is a trend that I have noticed. They also seem to work to get the most from the interactive medium.

                  Even within the industry there is much division about awards. I like working with a person who wants to be the best, is willing to push themselves to get there, and not afraid to go up against others to sharpen their skills.

                  The portfolio is just as important. I look at the work and asks questions and try to see where the web designer was at when doing a project. I ask about their views of the web and where they think it is heading. I know a lot of web designers are hard to work with, as are copywriters, but I think it is "partially the client's fault. Please notice I said "Partially." These folks are not fast food employees, they are artists and designers. You can't bark commands and they are going to jump. Working and dealing with them requires some understanding. If you are looking for a set of hands to execute what you don't have the skill set to do, you are wasting your time and money. Good web designers understand usability and flow, they know how the human eye tracks and get the importance of balance and readability.

                  Just a little bit of insight from an insider.
                  • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
                    KittyMartyr Newbie
                    Thanks so much to everyone for your prompt responses! I find it most interesting that there is such a variety of opinion regarding the value of awards. This is similar to what I found when I asked the question on Webmaster boards. Iwrite, thank you for speaking respectfully of Web designers - we can use all the encouragement we can get!
                      • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
                        Iwrite Pioneer
                        KittyMartyr,

                        You are welcome. There is no one right answer to this question. It is more about personality and not talent. I think some people have had a bad experience with an advertising professional and it has clouded their perception. The biggest part of our job is managing expectations, the more we (advertising folks) communicate with clients, the better the relationship will be.

                        I find it interesting that advertising seems to be the only field where people have trouble with awards. Architecture, cars, hotels, restaurants, products, airlines - almost every category of business has contests or awards that consumers use to help with their decision making, and yet they say awards don't mean anything when selecting a web designer? How odd.

                        Welcome aboard!
                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                          • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
                            KittyMartyr Newbie
                            Good point, Iwrite, people are not as impressed by media awards as they are by other types. I don't know why that is; perhaps it's just the case that a lot of people still don't take the Web seriously as a place to do business.
                              • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
                                Iwrite Pioneer
                                I was told by a potential client today that I make it look easy to put a message together but he has been struggling to organize his thoughts.

                                I think that is the problem.

                                When done correctly, we make what we do look easy and simple but it isn't. The perception is that we are not really doing anything special when in fact designing a good website is a combination of science and art, and balancing the two takes training and experience.

                                I am not sure but that seems to be part of the problem for me. Everyone thinks because they read and write in English that they can write, but in reality what I do is not easy.

                                I share your pain.
                          • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
                            lovemykids Wayfarer
                            I would NEVER bank anything on a award from any website host or website designer. Most of the time they (website host or designer) pay for these awards via advertising. If you ask me? I would stay away from any person that wants to claim they have picked up a award. So to respond to your question! NO THEY DO NOT as most awards are FAKE
                              • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
                                DomainDiva Ranger
                                OOOh someone got burned...please dear do share.
                                  • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
                                    lovemykids Wayfarer
                                    No not a matter of being burned. It is a matter of the internet. Just take a look at any of the website designers and you will see that out of the thousands of websites that are on the internet today (just search website designer in any engine) they all list the same names. Now if you click on the, advertise with us link, at that bottom of any of these website pages, you to can have your name up for small fee.

                                    Now please do not get me wrong. I do understand some designers have won real awards (that is great) but just becuase they have some award! I stick firm on the fact that it does not force me to use them as a designer. I have been real happy with my designer for my site, she does a great job with design, flash, etc. however I don't see her bost any award.
                                  • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
                                    Iwrite Pioneer
                                    Not always true.

                                    Local Addy's, CAs (Communication Arts), Webby's, One Show pencils and others cannot be bought, they are earned. There are several other awards that must be won. I have several awards, and I feel I should have won more but the judges didn't feel that way.

                                    There are some awards that can be bought like there are several degrees and certifications that can be bought instead of earned. One must do their homework. Ask questions, check out the awards on the web, demand to see their portfolio and ask for references. Also ask about their training - if they have taken any art direction courses, this is more important than many folks realize.

                                    I didn't even know web hosting companies could win awards!
                                      • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
                                        lovemykids Wayfarer
                                        Hi Iwrite,

                                        As per my other post. I think it is great if a designer wins a real award. However we both know that many of the designers do pay for these awards. My input is a very simple saying of, it does not matter if a designer has won a award. Many top of the line designers in the market today have no awards at all. I do not base my decsion of design work if a person has a award, I base this off the service I get from them.
                                        You did not even know a web hosting company get a award? All you have to do is search website hosting in a search engined and the first 5 pages are nothing but web hosting forums that list the top 10 web site hosting (with awards). Nothice they are all the same hosting places? what type of award winning web designer does not know a hosting company can win a award?

                                        I do not know about webby's however congrats on your award.
                                          • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
                                            Iwrite Pioneer
                                            Hi lovemykids,

                                            I'm not a web designer. I'm a copywriter. And my awards are in advertising contests that include interactive as a category. These contests tend to reward great thinking that produces results.

                                            What I was trying to say is why should there be an award for web hosting? I am not saying it is not important, I don't understand what there is to web hosting to award a prize. I am going to have to check that out. I don't do searches for web hosting companies, I have a list of trusted web hosting companies that I work with. The same is true for the art directors and web designers that I work with, although I recently worked with one who let me down greatly. But I don't blame that on awards or no awards, it was purely an issue of maturity or the lack there of. The client picked this art director and then asked for my help

                                            I don't want to sound arrogant but I only concern myself with the awards I listed and a couple of others. There are sites like www.thefwa.com and www.qbn.com that I would love to have my work listed on, but I have to produce better work.

                                            Sorry for the confusion. I agree there is more than awards, but I am saying that I consider it all together.
                                              • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
                                                lovemykids Wayfarer
                                                Hiiii

                                                No problem on the confusion part. I checked out the websites you listed. How come they do not take your work? looks to me if you click on "advertise" and give them the $35.00 application fee, they will list your work...However maybe I was reading the wrong thing?

                                                I did enjoy reading the small artical from a winner. Looks like if you win one of those FWA awards they inform you to prep for 40,000 hits and up to 900,000 hits...WOW!
                                                Best of luck in getting on that program. :)
                                                  • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
                                                    DomainDiva Ranger
                                                    I get several calls a month from other forum contributors offering to redo my website. Granted whats up now is ONLY information and the code is old, most are looking for the application, which is not viewable unless a user has the 8080 protocol sign in url and a user id/password. If they had that url what they would see is entirely different from what the dot com shows.

                                                    We have not updated the dot com info since the app is still in development and we opted to just leave the information up and concentrate on the app and then put all the new up on the web once we launch officially after beta testing. It costs money and time to incrementally update. We opted not to.

                                                    What bothers me is the fact that most web designers do not design...they arrange rectangles and squares and try to make the color pallet compatible. Then they put in this totally annoying music and expect the users visual experience to be wonderful. They do not bother to create a brand for their customers. All of my niche users love our website design/environment. It's edgy and it has 'design'. You don't know my designer, but you know his work: Chilis, Steak & Ale, Dr. Pepper, Tournament of Roses....the list goes on and on.

                                                    Between Jim (our designer) and IWrite, we have one crazy web design/ad/marketing department.
                                                    • Re: Do awards influence your choice of a Web designer?
                                                      Iwrite Pioneer
                                                      I don't have a website that is smart enough to be SIte of the Day. I'm simply being honest.

                                                      They will list your site but getting on the homepage is a little harder. Your work really has to be smart and well designed. I haven't been able to crack that part, yet. It isn't always about budget there have been some low budget ideas that were just so unexpected and fun. All the award shows charge a fee but it doesn't mean you are going to win. And it shouldn't. That's no different from any other award. Forrester is paid

                                                      I want to be clear, chasing awards for awards sake is wrong but wanting work that stands out and gets you noticed and has people talking should be the goal of every designer with or without awards. Domain is correct, art direction does matter.