"Rob Waaijenberg" hotmail.com> wrote in message
> rhino schreef:
>> I am currently developing a website for a client, a medical practitioner.
>> A few general issues have come up and I thought I'd ask here to see if I
>> could get some advice.
>> First, what is the best way to get him involved? We had a short initial
>> meeting where we agreed on the basic type of content he wants. I've got a
>> skeleton together which shows the basic layout and navigation. He likes
>> this just fine. However, as I've gone ahead and tried various things,
>> like different sorts of tabs and colour schemes, I am unable to get much
>> in the way of feedback from him. I've sent him emails that outline what
>> I've done in the latest batch of changes and ask for his reaction: does
>> he like X? Would he prefer Y or Z? If he answers at all, the reply is
>> very brief and vague.
> He wanted to have a website, and he had some (vague?) idea of the kind of
> content he wanted.
> I'd be surprised if he had any articulated opinions about color schemes
> and navigation and things like that.
> If I were you I would make a lay-out, make some stylesheets with different
> color-schemes and then present the whole lot
> giving him the final choice.
>> I don't want to take a lot of his time so I limit myself to one or two
>> contacts a month for fear of being thought a nag but the lack of useful
>> feedback is really hurting my ability to build what he wants.
> He probably doesn't know what to say.
> At this point he might even be wondering why he wanted a site anyway.
> I'm not saying it's your fault,
> but he may not have realized the extend of his own involvement in the
> whole process.
I strongly suspect you're right :-) Mind you, I'm using to working in
collaborative environments where users and systems people worked together
fulltime on a dedicated basis to solving problems. This is clearly a
different situation and I'm still trying to figure out how to work in it.
>> Every time I get a bit of momentum going and want to see if he likes what
>> I'm doing, I get little if any feedback and even that takes weeks. I am
>> totally open to anything he wants to do and am reluctant to just build
>> something without consulting him for fear that it will be completely
>> unlike whatever he had in mind. I've done enough systems development work
>> to know that systems people typically build far more complex and powerful
>> things than customers actually want.
> Well, like I said before: he may not even know what he wants (in detail).
I think you're right. But he's got to give me more than he is! Even if he
lets me decide on colours and appearance and all of that, I can't just
conjure up newsletters without some major input from him on content. We've
also got to agree on a process for producing it. Even if we agree that I
will write it, he needs to tell me how often it will come out, what the
articles will be about, how much material to write, etc. And he has to make
some decisions about how it will be distributed - via email or just
published on the site - so that I can set that up.
>> Can anyone advise me on how to get him to give me some direction? I don't
>> need him to pre-approve every small change but we need some kind of
>> process where he answers my questions occasionally.
> Just go ahead.
> He may be grateful in the end.
> And if he isn't, you can always confront him with the efforts you took to
> get his attention before.
I'm inclined to agree with you. I can certainly take decisions on the
cosmetic stuff and then modify as necessary as he sees the completed site.
But I don't know how to get him to discuss the newsletter. I have a feeling
it will simply be dropped once he realizes that the content has to be
composed by someone, with some significant investment in time.
>> To give one example of how things stand, I sent him an email several
>> weeks back where I told him about a rough first draft of a banner I had
>> put on the home page, mentioned that I had three different kinds of
>> navigation tabs on the index for him to examine, and needed some
>> information on what kind of information he wanted in the newsletter, such
>> as who the audience was and who was to compose it (me, him, or his office
>> staff). All I got was a comment that the basic colours weren't quite
>> right yet, suggesting that white and green might look nice. He didn't
>> tell me which of those he wanted as a background and which as the
>> foreground and whether he wanted a dark green or a light green.
> I think that you -being the expert in this relation- should make some
> choices here. I don't think that white text on a lightgreen background
> would be advisable.
Agreed! I know that white text on a light green background (or vice versa)
will be semi-invisible.
>> As you can see, I'm not getting much to work with and I'd like to know
>> how to get more from him. I certainly don't want to take a lot of time
>> from his busy schedule; I feel sure that if I start nagging at him, he
>> will give me LESS feedback, not more.
> Yep, you might be right.
>> Also, while I'm here, let me ask a related technical question. My client
>> is not terribly happy with the basic colour scheme yet so I'm wondering
>> what techniques other web designers use with their clients to choose
>> to let him choose from several different colour combinations via a
>> dropdown; each selection will cause a different CSS to be invoked and
>> show him a different possibility. Has anyone else tried anything like
>> this? Or is there a better way?
The first of those two links at least has some documentation (in the Help
section) explaining how it is meant to be used. It's not particularly clear
but I can probably puzzle it out. But I have no idea what I should be doing
with the second link. Do i just pick a base colour from the index on the
left (or the colour grid at the bottom) and then use the other colours that
appear about the grid helter-skelter throughout the site? Or am I supposed
to choose just a small number of those colours and limit myself to those??
> Good luck
Thanks for all of your suggestions!