Good question, let's find out.
Suppose for a moment that you've decided to build a house. Now you're not
going to do the actual work yourself because you're going to hire
a contractor. Your contractor will design, construct, and decorate your house
for you. When completed, he/she will give you the keys to your new house.
How would this house building evolve? Would you simply say to the
contractor "build me a 2000 sqft house" and leave the contractor
to provide all the design elements, the colors, textures and furnishings?
No, you wouldn't. While the contractor could provide you with a
2000 sqft house, it's very unlikely that it would meet your wants,
needs, or desires.
So you provide the contractor with a guide to how your house should
be constructed, what it should contain, and how it interacts with
your neighborhood. The contractor does all this after signing a contract with you. The
contract spells out a role for each person involved in the construction.
If you can provide some of the labor, your costs will be lower.
If you provide the right input, you are assured that your house
will truly be what you wanted.
Who knows how you want your house to look, feel, and communicate better
than you do. Your contractor can make some educated guesses about
you and place those assumptions into your house, but will you be
really happy with the results? And wouldn't you expect the contractor
to charge you more for providing these things instead of you providing
them yourself? Time is money, and contractors don't give away their
So, what do you do? You provide the contractor with input about
how your house should look, feel, react, communicate with others
and then your house gets built the way you want it. It says what
you want it to say. It's comfortable, and it looks good. You're
Now a little substitution game: Replace "contractor" with "Web Designer",
replace "house" with "web site", replace "design elements", "colors",
"textures and furnishings", "info" and "input" with "content". Replace
"neighborhood" with "customers". Now go read the story again.
That's what a web designer is. (S)he can build you a web site. The more
input you provide, the better able your designer is able to meet
your wishes for your site. You provide the building blocks the designer
uses. If you want the designer to provide the building blocks, don't
complain about the additional cost. Time is money, remember?
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This article was inspired by a analogy provided
by Suzanna of Suzanna.net.
Reprinted with the following permission: "This article may be copied
and redistributed provided this copyright notice remain attached."