I don’t like to be critical of professional graphic designers. I feel it’s unprofessional to single a designer out and publicly criticize their work, since all artists must acknowledge that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Mass populace does not always rule, and even the seasoned eye of a veteran designer can be put into question by the casual observer. Still, I have a pet peeve that deserves some attention: professional graphic designers who have poorly designed websites.
I see it all the time. I’ll view someone’s work or portfolio on a third-party site such as Elance or ODesk and think, “Hey, that’s incredible. I have to check this designer out.” Then, I visit the designer’s website and it’s bland, has a choppy layout or – even worse – low-quality graphics. What a shame! Despite the designer’s portfolio, I find it difficult to hire him or her given the fact that they do not care to invest their time into their own website.
I can only think of a few reasons for this anomaly. First, the designer has honed his or her skills since first developing the website. Second, the designer simply slapped something up because he or she didn’t have time for it in the face of a never-ending workload – and feels they do not need it. Third, the designer isn’t a designer at all, but more of a broker who delegates design work. Last – the designer can design but is not developer.
No matter the reason, any graphic designer who has a poorly designed website needs to bring it up to speed – even if the workload is heavy. Would you go to a mechanic whose own car is always broken down? Would you visit a style salon whose stylists all have bad hairstyles? I don’t care how many great postcard and brochure designs you can show me in your portfolio, you’re losing business if your website isn’t up to par. I guarantee it.