The DT Blog

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When we first moved into our house, I began to see several things that I would have done differently.  For the first time I thought, "We should build next time."  All of that changed recently.  Here's why ...

We recently visited the home of a friend.  The house looked great on the outside, but the inside was ... well, it was awful.  It was weird and confusing and poorly designed.  They will have a very tough time selling it some day.  There wasn't a single room that didn't have a distracting oddity to it, and it baffled me as to why.  These friends used a good builder.  They had solid blueprints and were even able to give a little of their own input.  Actually, they gave a lot of input.  As it turns out, all of the oddities that devalued the house were changes that had been made to the original design.  Their house had potential to be great, but they tried to make it something that it was never intended to be.  It was too far gone.

Stick to the blueprints ... Please.

I've made the comparison between website developers and home builders before.  It's a good analogy and bears repeating.  I am shocked at how often clients will start with one, clear purpose for their website and then (only after the design has been finalized) try to make it be or do something it was never intended to be or do.  I'm all for ingenuity and adaptability, but good design tends to have a teleology behind it, a purpose.

When we don't use things for their intended purpose they break.

My middle son was very upset the other day because he broke - literally broke - his jump rope.  How does one break a jump rope?  By looping it over the monkey bars and swinging from it like it is a jungle vine; that's how.  Here's the thing: it's not a jungle vine.  It's not a swinging rope.  It's a jump rope.  It was never intended to hold his weight or suspend him in midair.  Websites and ads are the same way.  They have an intended use.  If you go too far beyond that, you run the risk of breaking it.

Isn't there any flexibility?

Of course there is always flexibility.  At least, there is if you have a good designer.  But, you (nor your designer) can't always get what you want.  If you have a good designer, trust her.  She will compromise for the good of the project, and she will also tell you when you are simply too far gone.  Trust your designer, or you may end up with a ridiculous house and no one to blame.