Jeff Croft says:
I recently had someone approach me with this proposal: “I’m working on a web application and I need a designer to help me. I want it to be very web 2.0 with gradients and drop shadows and other light effects. I’ve already mocked up the layout — I just don’t know how to create these effects in Illustrator and I need someone who will do it for me.” I know it sounds like a joke, but it was a serious proposal — I swear. When I said, “Okay, let’s take a step back — what kind of web app is it? What does it do?,” he got defensive and informed me that if he was going to hire me, I’d have to do what he wanted without asking so many questions. I talked with the guy for about 30 minutes and eventually told him I didn’t think it was “a fit” — and suggested that if he did hire a designer, he should probably back off a bit and let them design. On the flip side, if he just wanted someone to carry out his vision, there are several services that do that sort of thing.
This guy didn’t want a designer. He wanted an Illustrator guru to carry out what he’d already decided upon. He didn’t want me to architect a site for him — he just wanted me to be his construction worker. That’s not to say construction work isn’t important, of course — but it’s only a small part of what I, as a web designer, do. This was an extreme case, but it illustrates (no pun intended) my point — hiring a web designer and having them act as a web monkey is not only a waste of money, but also shortchanges your site from the benefits an experienced web designer’s perspective can add.
That’s what I do. I use my technical skills. I construct. I do not solve problems. I usually create them by pretending that I can solve them without your help.