Oddly enough, brainstorming about who I am and what I can do helped me to understand the problem better. I find it often helps to approach problems indirectly. By investigating these areas it helped me to better understand the situation I was in.
But I still haven’t defined the problem, have I? When I started, I felt I needed a new website to help my business grow. But this feeling isn’t something you can really work from, as it’s just not detailed enough. How is a new website actually going to help my business at all?
The most recent revision of my website was created to solve a very specific problem. My friend Des had just started work in iQ Content and had been asked if he knew any good web designers. As he was confident of my abilities he immediately thought of me, but he felt that my site at the time was simply not something he could point to and say “he’s a good designer”. And to be honest, he was right—it was a single-page travesty with jokes that only made sense to people who played Treasure Island Dizzy on the ZX Spectrum. It was unacceptable.
The goals of that site were as follows:
I have an archive of the old site for you to view. It did the job it set out to accomplish (and so was worth the effort), but not much beyond that, so I was never really happy with it as a permanent website (though I do certainly love the about and contact page on the old site a lot).
So I have a site up, but I have vague feelings of unease about it. I haven’t really defined what I want to do, but I have a good picture of who I am and what I do, which has generated some ideas about what the site could do.
When working on sites for clients, I like to deal with the vagueness of “I want a website” by looking at the goals of the business and seeing how a website could help meet them. If it works for my clients, surely it will work for me?
One of the more obvious goals of my business is to make increasing amounts of cash. But so long as I make enough to survive, I will to do work I can be proud of.
But for me, it’s hard to separate my work from the rest of my life. I suspect this is true for a lot of people who are passionate about their work. Seeing a clearly poorly designed ad, or using a poorly designed product, gets on my nerves enough to try to avoid producing the same. I could make more money if I lowered my standards and increased my output, but I wouldn’t be happy.
In short, I want my business to:
I think a website can help me reach these goals. The next post in this series will explain my overall strategy.
This is an Article. It was posted on November 10, 2007.