James is passionate about making the web a user-friendly place for all. He’s a seasoned web developer & usability pro who has built literally hundreds of websites over the past 15 years. No surprise, he writes frequently on web usability and accessibility issues.

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Understanding Mobile First

Having spent nearly 20 years in the web development field, I was an early adopter and strong advocate of the “mobile first” approach that has recently came on strong.

It forces many good habits that, frankly, the industry should have been paying attention to all along. Prioritizing the right content for the visitor’s needs just makes sense.

Mobile first means exactly that – considering what is most important for smartphone and tablet readers to see when they reach your website from those devices. It is (and should be!) a different experience from the desktop.

As Geoff detailed in his recent “Mobile Only is Foolish” post, TKG definitely does not advocate the easily-confused idea of mobile only. Mobile only is very different than mobile first, and it’s easy to see where people may be fooled into mobile only.

Commonly, what happens in mobile only is that a desktop experience existed and then a completely separate mobile experience is considered. With this approach, the likelihood that the brand’s intended experience across devices becomes increasingly fragmented. What happens is you end up cramming all of the information into the smaller displays or just cut it out entirely. Just having a link to everything that you would on the desktop doesn’t mean you’ve successfully delivered the right experience.

Not to mention what it says to Google and your SEO rankings.

A mobile first approach takes more thought and time to plan, but the return is tremendous. Desktop displays afford much more space to play with, and typically require more bandwidth and technology to produce a desired experience. The beauty of a mobile first approach is that the core experience is maintained throughout the site, no matter what device your visitor is using. The mobile experience is delivered with the minimum required components and then is progressively enhanced as the display, bandwidth and technology allows.

Here’s your strategy for doing it right:

  • Goals: Mobile first thinking immediately brings to the surface the need for clear goals for the site. Most often a conversion is desired, whether that be a phone call, a lead form or an e-commerce sale. This usually isn’t a one-step path. And often, the goal(s) of a mobile user are different than a desktop user, so we must make accommodations for those realities. Some simple things are quick access to things like directions, hours or click-to-call. These are things you might keep available on a desktop experience, but likely tone down.
  • Content First:Again, with limited screen space, mobile first thinking forces our content to be focused on the most critical messaging. So, as your content is developed, key messaging should be separated from their expanded topic(s), while allowing both to be present for the visitor.  This decision-making typically bodes very well then for larger display experiences by allowing a great amount of flexibility when presenting content. Of course, to execute that focus on key messaging, the designer must have the actual content prior to design to properly present it for the varied experiences.
  • Navigation:Navigation menus can present a substantial challenge, particularly on large sites. Taking a mobile first approach again brings these challenges to the surface early on and facilitates the need (opportunity) for structural prioritization. When possible, simplify. Long lists of navigation are forced to be tucked away as a utility to the visitor to allow key messaging to remain in focus. Remember, out-of-sight is often out-of-mind. The saving grace is that if your goals are clearly identified and your content provides a supporting path, those navigation menus should be able to remain a utility (in non-commerce websites).

Contracting a reputable digital partner to redesign your website from a mobile first approach isn’t the quickest, but I know without a doubt that it’s the most effective. A side benefit is that you only pay to maintain one “website” instead of multiple, which means that Google stays happy too and you won’t get dinged on the search marketing implications of having multiple websites.

Invest in creating the mobile experience first, put focus on your goals and reap the rewards of a better experience for those interacting with your business. As with any change, it’s not easy, but it’s the right thing to move your business forward.

Get Inspired (and Learn Something New)

When you catch yourself staring at a blank screen, unable to generate ideas, where do you get your inspiration from?

Often times, I take myself out of my digital environment and look to physical products that are built to solve problems or provide solutions for people and study what goes into them.

When planning a website redesign, it’s difficult not to rely on the re-use of features from a previous project. While this inherently has benefits (employing solid, user-tested patterns for features like searching and product list sorting), it can feel like a crutch. Seeking out fresh ideas in the vastness of the inter-webs can even prove trying even for the seasoned developer.

codropsRecently, I happened upon Codrops, a website full of articles, tutorials and demos for web developers and became inspired initially by its fresh perspective on traditional website features.

After looking through several of the demos, I was drawn to continue looking. In addition to the entertaining topics focused on user experience and interaction design, the articles are well written for quick comprehension. The website features do rely on the latest technology available in web browsers, which is increasingly becoming the norm, so it’s good to be looking ahead.

arrowI’m compelled to share this with you so that you can be inspired too. The demos are presented in a simple way that allow you to browse from one to the next (just jump in here and continue navigating with the arrows – which is a great user experience in itself).

Perhaps when it comes to redesigning your website next with TKG, looking for additional ideas here will allow you to contribute in the selections used in making your website an engaging and effective solution for your visitors.

So long, blank screen.

Spotlight On The City of Green, Ohio

City of Green Responsive Website

The City of Green, Ohio (CoG) identified a need to refresh and redesign their old website (http://www.cityofgreen.org) that was originally designed and hosted by TKG.

Green has changed pretty dramatically since the former site was created. It is now a bustling suburban community with more than 25,000 residents. Some small farms still dot the landscape, amid 530-acres of city-owned parkland, homes and subdivisions, office parks, businesses and recreation facilities.

Their website served the community well, but a lack of updating meant that it couldn’t be viewed on some devices, specifically mobile. More than 80% of traffic to their website were returning visitors on a weekly or monthly basis, so it was important that they have a site that could be viewed on the go.

At the same time, and most importantly, the website needed a review and restructuring of the existing content to improve relevance and improve findability (it’s a word, look it up!).

Valerie Wolford - City of Green

For the pivotal task of reviewing and restructuring existing content, we were introduced to Valerie Wolford, Communications Coordinator, as the lead of the project. We have worked with only a few project leads that can compare to Valerie. Her attention to detail and realistic outlook on seeing a project of this magnitude through to the end were invaluable and a joy to see in action. We know it will probably be awhile until we get the opportunity to work with Valerie again, but until then we will be looking forward to it.

Valerie lifted the heavy weight in the beginning of the project by rounding up a staggering amount of factual data from the current website. She polled and interviewed actual visitors and employees alike in an attempt to uncover the true areas to be improved. Out of this research, we determined three core objectives of this project:

  1. Create a responsive design to quickly engage visitors by focusing content to their demographic and interest(s)
  2. Provide CoG with a higher level of stability and content flexibility using APOXE 7, TKG’s latest content management platform
  3. Assist CoG to improve site structure and usability

In order to facilitate the objectives, TKG employed these administrative sections behind the update of the website’s aesthetic design of 17 unique layouts:


  • Page Content
  • Community Events (with community submissions)
  • News Articles
  • Real Estate Listings
  • Citizen Alerts
  • Contact Forms
  • Image & Document Directories

This project has come to completion and, for all parties involved, it was a huge success. The City of Green, Ohio will continue to be a progressive, technology-friendly city by improving its web presence by utilizing tools such as search engine optimization, content reorganization and other continued strategies to focus the navigation, tone and user experience on the website.

TKG would like to again extend a thank you to The City of Green, Ohio for the opportunity to work on the project. Congrats on a great site!


5 Things that Drive Shoppers Crazy on E-Commerce Sites

As a web development firm with some rather rabid online shoppers among us, we’ve learned a thing or two about what drives shoppers crazy when it comes to purchasing online. And we know that those things that drive shoppers crazy ultimately leads to less sales, so it’s important to know what they are and how to fix them. Great e-commerce web design makes a big difference when it comes to making an online sale. It’s not just about looking pretty (although that’s always nice to see), it’s about making it as easy as possible for customers to purchase your product online.

So without further ado, here are the top five worst e-commerce web design mistakes we’ve seen over and over again:

Poor product images.
Don’t you hate it when you want to make a purchase but can’t see product clearly? And then you find out that there isn’t even a good way to enlarge the image? Maddening. Why stay on a website that isn’t going to be helpful? Excellent product photos with a well designed interface for seeing them enlarged can make a world of difference for a potential customer. Don’t settle for good enough.

Buy now! buy now
Having a button that says “Buy” sounds simple enough. But believe it or not, a button that says “Buy” can be perceived as misleading and even have a negative connotation for shoppers and deter them from continuing.

add to cartDesigning the button to say “Add to cart” seems a lot less final to the buyer. A customer who isn’t quite sure yet likely won’t click on the “Buy” button, but is more likely to hit the “Add to Cart” button. “Add to Cart” tends to convert more browsers into buyers – and also allows them to purchase more. Adding one thing to your virtual shopping cart suggests that you might add more things to the cart. This seemingly small e-commerce design hint can make a big difference in your sales.

Going old school.
OK, so now that you have an “Add to Cart” button, what should it do? It used to be standard in e-commerce web design to have the cart button take a visitor directly to the cart every time it was clicked. This can still vary by site, but largely, you want to be able to keep your visitors shopping, rather than going straight to the checkout. Don’t make your site’s structure interfere with what the customer wants to do. The cart should be designed to allow your customers to decide if they want to continue with the purchase quickly or do some additional shopping.

Don’t display total charges.
Have you ever tried to check out of an e-commerce site that asked for your payment information before the total charges have been displayed? This is where a lot of sites lose customers who want to know exactly what they are spending before offering up their funds. Customers should have access to their total bill, including shipping and taxes, prior to giving payment information. It’s a simple fix in your e-commerce web design that can translate to more sales and happier customers.

So many choices.
However well-intended, too many categories to choose from will likely just overwhelm customers. This can become cumbersome and can be frustrating to online shoppers and make them stop browsing. They might not know exactly what they are searching for and just want to see what is available. Best practice is to show seven or fewer top-level categories and three or fewer secondary categories. Keep it simple and easy to navigate – that will always turn into more sales.

So those are some of the e-commerce web design things mistakes we see pretty regularly. What are your least favorite things about e-commerce sites? Do you have an online shopping horror story to share? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section!

Why TKG Participates in the Movember Movement

Around the office here, we each do our part to post a monthly article letting our readers know a little more about who we are, what we do and how we can help each time. This month is no different with the exception that I wanted to share why the month of November is so special to us at The Karcher Group.

How to show off your mustache


November is a time where, in year’s past, we’ve held a mustache contest for the sake of having fun while building camaraderie and company morale. This year we decided to take things to the next level. We kicked off the gift-giving season raising funds and awareness for while having a tremendous amount of fun (enter gratuitous animated gif).


It’s called Movember…

Movember: Changing the face of men's health Movemeber's vision: To have an everlasting impact on men's health

It especially matches with folks here at TKG because the key value of Movember is to have fun!

As an official global charity, Movember’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health. During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of millions of moustaches on men’s faces around the world. Through the power of the Mo, vital funds and awareness are raised to combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges.

We see Movember as the male equivalent to breast cancer awareness month. The foundation was started with just 30 Mo Bros in Melbourne, Australia back in 2003 and has grown to 1,127,152 Mo’s globally in 2012. See how Movember went from 30 to 1,127,152 Mo’s.

2012 Movember Growth Video

Similar to TKG beginnings, the two original founders and friends Travis Garone and Luke Slattery were having a beer and quality conversation – questioning where the Mo had gone. They convinced their mates into growing Mo’s and combined the idea with a campaign about men’s health and prostate cancer – inspired by another friend’s mother who was fundraising for breast cancer. Movember was formalized in 2004 and has been growing feverishly (and internationally) ever since.

Here’s some quick info to spark your awareness from the Movember Foundation:

  • 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime
  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in males between the ages of 15 and 35
  • Over 6 million men are diagnosed with depression each year
  • Almost four times as many males as females die by suicide
  • On average, men die at a significantly younger age than women – almost five years less than women (presently 76 compared to 81) and seemingly no biological reason for this

Raise awareness for a change! Here are some reasons why there is a poor state of men’s health in America and around the world:

  • Lack of awareness and understanding about the health issues men face
  • Men not openly discussing their health and how they’re feeling
  • Reluctance to take action when men don’t feel physically or mentally well
  • Men engaging in risky activities that threaten their health
  • Stigmas surrounding both physical and mental health

We’re ecstatic to be involved in Movember and all sorts of other charities throughout the year: Domestic Violence Project, Inc, Arts in Stark, Junior Achievement, Rotary, The Aultman Foundation, Stark Development Board, Pregnancy Support Center, Catholic Charities, Stark County DD, United Way, Coats For Christmas, Adopt-A-Family, and we serve as a drop-off for Toys for Tots and Coats for Kids. Why? It keeps us feeling good (mentally healthy!) to make a difference and be an influence in something positive.

If you’re into this kind of thing (having fun while being philanthropic), perhaps you’ll join TKG in fighting the good fight, support TKGMO and The Movember Foundation with a small donation, or simply start by becoming self-aware of the reasons for the poor state of men’s health in America and around the world… then join in next year!

Thanks for reading and here’s to your health – cheers! :-{|

This entry was posted in At TKG.

Fight Against “Right-rail Blindness”

I’m a long-time reader of articles written by the Nielsen-Norman Group (NNg), an evidence-based website user experience research company operating since 1998. One of their website’s fine authors, Hoa Loranger, (also author of the much-acclaimed book, Prioritizing Web Usability) produced a concise article recently in which only the headline caught my eye out of a list of articles. My choosing to read it was partially induced by my empathy for web accessibility. Fight Against “Right-rail Blindness” is pretty catchy, eh? The other reason is that it further enforces part of a presentation I share while guest lecturing upperclassmen at local high-schools: website visitors naturally steer away from areas that look like advertising.

Nielsen Norman Group

The first thing to understand is the term “right-rail”. In web development, for a desktop browsing experience, this is the right-most portion or column of the web-page. What often gets put into a right-rail is supplementary bits of information – things that are ancillary to the main content of the page. As a side-note, this would be content that follows after the main content in hierarchy. Depending on the website, this might include additional reading, advertising, and/or site-wide call-to-action (CTA). In trafficked websites like Google and Facebook, having ads placed here is the de-facto standard – hence the “training” of the general public.

Here’s the 4 main tips Loranger mentions and we continue to use to prevent “right-rail blindness”:

  1. Don’t design content to look like banner ads – a clean sidebar design garners trust
    “Choose a light-weight, simple visual design for the right column—one that matches the content of the site. People are more likely to trust and click on links that look like valuable content than what appears to be irrelevant advertising.”

    These CTAs look too much like external advertisements

    These CTAs look too much like external advertisements

  2. Position content away from the banner ads to avoid “guilt by association”
    “…people perceive elements that are placed together to be related. It’s fine to feature ads on your site. People are used to it. However, whenever possible, group external and internal promotions separately, and make them look distinct to avoid any confusion.”

    The simplified content placed between "ad-like" content still gets ignored

    The simplified content placed between “ad-like” content still gets ignored

  3. Feature thumbnail images only if they communicate useful information quickly
    “Each image requires cognitive effort to discern, especially at small sizes, so choose them wisely. When selecting images, pick ones that supplement the content and are easily discernible in small sizes. Our eyetracking research shows that simple images, that have simple backgrounds and identifiable objects, attract more attention than busy images.”

    Thumbnails shown here are too small even with simplified imagery making them useless

    Thumbnails shown here are too small even with simplified imagery making them useless

  4. Feature content that is relevant and helpful
    “Consider when to offer broad or narrow topics. For example, at top-level pages (e.g., homepage and section pages), people are much more open to serendipitous discovery. However, at the article level, people are more topic focused and need highly relevant content.”

    This article features additional content that isn't within the same topic

    This article features additional content that isn’t within the same topic

In the full article Loranger supports these points by mentioning the relevant background research associated. It’s a well thought and insightful article published and read by those closer to the web development spectrum, so I thought it made sense to share with our readers – the potential web design client and current client (using our custom-developed APOXE CMS).

In summation, like all valuable space on your web page, use this information to make careful decisions about the content you’re placing in your “right-rail” so you can effectively see the benefit.

You can read the entire article here and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Current Web Design Trends

Back in July, I shared some of the outdated web design trends you should make sure your website is avoiding. So what’s trending now-a-days in the world of website design?

Retro Design Trend

History does repeat itself. The last resurgence of a retro feel in design was around 2005. Retro web design characteristics include:

  • period icons
  • vivid graphics
  • skewed-rectangular shapes
  • period color themes (often pale colors)

It’s effective because people, the general populous of which being comprised of an aging demographic of web surfers, have a tendency to associate “value” with old things.

Retro Web Design Examples

Retro Web Design Example: Timo'sTimo’s Air Conditioning and Heating out of Palm Springs, CA, is a nice example of retro design style; however the site is also an example of a site being “over-designed” – weighing in at roughly 2 Megs – whoa momma!

bosstonesMighty Mighty Bosstones, the popular ska-punk band based out of Cambridge, MA, is another example of a website employing the retro web design trend by using the period illustration style and color palette along with the classic skewed-rectangle shape for content areas. This design is a good example of not being “over-designed” although it still boasts a significant download size for visitors (and a splash page).

Authentically Digital Design Trend

The authentically digital design trend represents a flat, two dimensional look that heavily relies on solid background color and plenty of white-space, interesting typography and large format imagery that become (as it should be) the focus of the page. It avoids trying to look like any other medium such as print, 3D or photo realism. Delight in the fact this technique can provide a fast online experience.

Authentically Digital Web Design Examples

The following 3 big brands provide great examples of the authentically digital web design trend:

Authentically Digital Web Design Example: Coca ColaCoca-Cola

Authentically Digital Web Design Example: MicrosoftMicrosoft

Authentically Digital Web Design Example: OakleyOakley

Know of any other great examples of retro or authentically digital website designs? Share with us in the comments…

Avoiding Outdated Web Design Trends

graphics-sunbathing-196198Like all things meant to draw your attention (auto styling, fashion, architecture), design and graphic “language” or visual communication is constantly evolving to keep you looking in a certain direction.

Is your website suffering from these outdated trends?

Splash Pages
There was a day when splash pages were cool because they added to the mystery of what your website experience was going to be – while it had to load (which took for-ev-er). Pretty much, those pages let you get in some extra branding. With speed, simplicity and content being everything these days, all a splash page is doing is adding an extra step in the process. It’s a relatively simple thing to remove these, so cut it out. An absolutely unusable splash page (sorry, Petr).

Common Fonts (yawn)
There is the obvious need to have the font on your website be legible, so sticking with a typical installed font found on most computers is a great safety net, but web development has come along way with the ability to include “web fonts” in any webpage. One caveat is that web fonts add to the number of files needing to be downloaded and thus add download time, so be judicious. Different fonts also have different file sizes too depending on the amount of characters found in them. If you use Comic Sans or Papyrus, it’s time for you to update. Check out the growing list of what types of web fonts are available.

Too Many FontsToo Many Fonts!
Here’s a no-no that will always be a no-no. If you have multiple people updating your website, this can easily become problematic. Too many fonts create distraction and drop your website down quite a few notches on the professional scale (unless your business is selling fonts). If you can, have the font selection feature removed in your CMS (content management system). Rule of thumb: Stick with two unique fonts (and colors) at most.

Again, the speed, simplicity and content of your website is paramount. Even if your website designer can design every last detail or nook and cranny of the web page and tie it all together perfectly, it doesn’t mean you should. So if you’re just designing for design’s sake, give it a rest.

Too Many CTAs (calls to action)
This falls somewhat inline with “over-designing”, but even the cleanest designs can misuse this vital aspect of doing business online. Let’s clarify that a CTA is the final on-page feature you want a visitor to take action on. A secondary “path” may be applicable, but if you have three or more, you moving into “poor user experience territory” that will likely overwhelm or confuse users. There are also great page designs where one CTA would include multiple actionable “options” (of which you’d choose one) – like picking a phone plan.

Think your site needs a design re-fresh? Add your website link in the comments and we’ll provide some honest feedback!

Photo credit

Creating Wireframes? Try My New Favorite App, Moqups

Due to the industry I’m a part of, it seems that I always have a reason to create a wireframe!  For those that are not familiar, creating a wireframe is a quick way to express an idea through a rudimentary sketch. Here’s a couple of (non-website) ideas:

  • Space-planning – think of landscaping projects or re-organizing a room in your home
  • Organizational charts – depicting the hierarchy of people or documents
  • Decision-making – showing the steps through a process based on choices

The easiest and cleanest way to create wireframes for most is by creating a digital sketch, but what program will work best for your specific need? If your go-to “design” program is Microsoft® Paint, please keep reading! Thinking about using Paint for sketching mildly induces panic, although  I must say that I’ve seen some amazing things when it comes to producing some fine art from this tried and true application.

There are some great programs available; however, they can get pricey. If you’re interested in making a purchase, I’ve used these applications with great success:

If you don’t have a large budget, why not turn to the internet-based applications? They’re always on, (nearly) always available us, and surprisingly similar to interacting with desktop software. A large number of them have a some level of “free” worked in as well where you can try it before you buy it.

Let me introduce you to my new favorite app, Moqups. moqups-icon

Moqups has become my go-to application for quick sketching and wireframing. The company says it best:

“Moqups is a nifty HTML5 App used to create wireframes, mockups or UI concepts, prototypes depending on how you like to call them.”

Here are just a few of the reasons why I love Moqups.

Robust Features (but just the necessities)

  • Seriously – Add, Save (As), List, Preview, Share/Collaborate (via email), Export (in PDF & PNG format), and Recover Projects
  • (searchable) Stencils that start with general shapes and text (for those reading that are not in the web industry) and include those specific to forms, media, e-commerce, mobile, and desktop – even upload and save your own to use!
  • Stencil layout tools for alignment, layering, grouping, and live-hyperlinking
  • Layout your “paper” in any size, with grid-paper or plain or using 960.gs (nice!), use guidelines, and snap your stencils to them for effortless placement
  • Great support and active community – http://community.moqups.com/

User-Interface and Usability

  • The layout of the app itself resembles some of the previously mentioned desktop software (and why not borrow from what’s tried and true?)
  • Most actions are single-click while deeper functionality is only a second click away. And there is right-click menu availability – why not?
  • Try looking closer at the toolbar menus or the right-click menu and you’ll find keyboard shortcuts for virtually everything making the experience very desktop-like. I wouldn’t be surprised if the paid features include customizable shortcuts where I could make “the left-handed snarling opossum” good for something in this app too! 🙂
  • A few of my favorite hidden features are the ability to Shift+Arrow for nudging anything 10px at a time or when resizing an object you can maintain the perspective by using Shift+Drag on a corner anchor handle


Level of FREE

  • The application is offered free to visitors with or without an account – creating an account is quick and allows you to save your projects
  • A free account allows you up to 3 projects – and projects can have any number of “pages” within them
  • Even though you’re limited to 3 projects, a free account does allow you full control of the app’s primary features for creating, editing, and exporting your ideas
  • When you’re completely hooked, you’ll want to base a set of wireframes off a single template, create a new project by copying as a revision, or begin to collaborate with your clients or team – and here’s where the upgrade seems totally worth it

Drop those pencils and save a tree, try out Moqups and set ideas free (the rhyming was intentional!). If you’re not already using Moqups, share in the comments what you’re using and why you like it!

Top 3 Traits of Good Web Designers

Good web designers

Coming soon to our office fridge

Obviously, good web designers have project work that visually speaks to you while it simultaneously is pleasing to the eye. Kind of like buying your first house or meeting the love of your life – you just know.

If you’ve done your initial home work on a prospective designer, you’ve discovered there is a good personality match and their references check out. I suppose then this article might best be titled “traits a top-shelf designer”.

Good web designers are relatively abundant, but top-shelf designers are, in large, those that have years of experience behind them – having gone through bad projects or worked with a variety of project managers to ultimately know these following traits make a relationship and project work smooth. If you’re new to or considering a design career, I’m hopeful these will get you a leg up.

  1. Asks questions
  2. Thinks “What if?”
  3. Delivers on-time

Start by asking questions

A good project manager should be the provider of the base of information to get a project done. A top-shelf designer asks any questions they have at the time of reviewing objectives, digests the information (post-meeting), and follows up with a re-statement of the information.

It may seem silly, but the step of re-stating the objectives offers an opportunity to expose any missing details that should have been provided initially, allows an opportunity to ask any more questions for further clarification, and reassures the project manager that their designer has no mis-interpretations.

Constantly think “What if?”

This trait is one that is meant to be engrained in every facet of project work and becomes the catalyst for the questions asked at a project’s on-set.

Constantly thinking “what if?” is especially significant when it comes to complete re-branding projects or those that include a website component to them. The re-branding flavor of project can run in a multitude of directions like current and future logo uses, the different channels of marketing chosen (on or off-line), etc. Any seasoned designer could share that knowing and making sure designs are produced at high resolution (or physical dimension) initially can save you from re-doing or adding hours of work resulting in missing a deadline.

When purely in the web space, factors like on-page interactivity, functional contingency (when s*%# happens), intended devices (responsive design), etc. have deep importance on how a design should be executed and/or what should be considered a complete set of deliverables.

Finish on time (or before)

With objectives covered at the on-set of the project and carefully thought out “what if?”s, this very critical point becomes simple to consistently accomplish – and a joyous occasion between you and your project manager – at any stage where a deliverable is due. Nothing says “hire me (again – for the freelancers among us)” louder than being a dependable part of the team.

I would typically say “save the war stories” for internal conversations, but since this article is meant to expose the hiccups that cause points of failure in a designers project work, share with us your worst experience. If you’d rather, hit me up privately and allow us to expand this article.

What are traits you look for in good web designers?