3 Reasons Why Your IT Guy Is NOT Your Creative Guy
If you’re making a big decision like rebranding or building a new website, you may be tempted to let your IT guy head up the decision-making process. This is a BIG mistake. Here are three reasons why your IT guy should not be making your creative decisions.
NOTE: I use the term “IT Guy” but I really mean “IT Person” (IT people can be either gender, of course). I did this because it’s common business nomenclature and easier to envision for most people.
I bid out a lot of website and branding projects for a variety of businesses, from single-person start ups to 25-year-old multi-million dollar businesses. There is one thing that inevitably happens in a fair percentage of these proposals… the “IT Guy” gets involved and throws a wrench in the whole process.
Now don’t get me wrong; I appreciate and respect the capabilities of IT professionals. However, that doesn’t mean I want them anywhere near my design process or anything creative for that matter.
They tend to have very analytical minds that are perfect for troubleshooting tech problems and creating solutions that keep modern businesses running, but those same talents do not translate into the more abstract and emotional world of creative design.
With that said, here are three reasons why your IT Guy is not the your Creative Guy:
#1: If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It!
Creative design follows changing trends and shifts in societal perception. Technology follows logical development and testing. These two aspects of modern business come into conflict quite a bit. If you ask your IT guy if he likes your website, he’ll say yes as long as it’s secure, it’s up, and no one is complaining about how it works.
That doesn’t necessarily mean it fits the needs of the business when it comes to the sales and marketing departments, the desires of the owners, or needs of the customers. The “broken” part of a brand or website design may have more to do with abstract elements that have nothing to do with the technology behind them.
#2: Tech Professionals Think Differently from Non-Tech Professionals
The demands of an IT job require a lot of analytical thinking… a process that doesn’t lend itself to the emotional and abstract thought process behind creative design (and sometimes user experience (UE)/user interface (UI) design, but I won’t get into that in this article).
For that reason, something that makes sense to an IT professional won’t necessarily make sense to the end user.
I remember one developer I worked with created a set of 100 icons to represent the status of a message to end users. The icons were all different colors and about 10 pixels a piece (very small) and required an index in order to interpret them. At the end of the day, he couldn’t understand why users found this confusing and inconvenient while it seemed straight forward to him.
This disconnect from the end user (in most cases the customers, owners, and marketers behind a small business) leads to confusion in the creative design process.
#3: Why Spend Money on This? I Know a Guy That Will Do It for Half the Price
While my company develops attractive, capable websites that look expensive, the fact is they are extremely affordable for what they are. Thanks to our experience building hundreds of websites and our access to highly capable and supported solutions, we can create long lasting websites and brands for 2 to 5 times less than big firms.
Even so, we will often get push back concerning our price from the “IT Guy” who has created a solution himself or “knows someone” who promises the same thing for “way less” than we quoted. The client ends up with a shabby Wix or Weebly website that they immediately want to replace, or something that is “custom” but doesn’t do very much and is impossible for end users (the business owners and their marketing department) to edit.
What You Should Do
Rather than using your IT guy to manage your upcoming creative project, do it yourself! I always tell business owners that they are the ones that have to sell, so they need to love their brand, no matter what anyone else says or thinks. To be honest, I’m not in love with all of our designs, but if the client is happy with them, so am I.
This doesn’t mean you should exclude your IT guy completely, especially if he manages your security and hosting. He or she just doesn’t need to be heading the process and their opinion should be taken with a grain of salt when it comes to budgetary concerns.