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Interview with Tiffany, Part 4: Advice to Companies Seeking a Web Designer and What to Love About Web Design

By: Mary Barbour

And for the last piece in our Interview with Tiffany series, we pick her brain for some insider advice on what to do and what to avoid in your hunt for a Web Designer.  She also gives us a little insight into her own loves and hates about the job….

Me: What advice would you give someone who is trying to find the right web design firm?

Tiffany: Again, in no particular order:


Look for a firm with a process.  There are a million approaches, and we could debate the merits of one over another for days, but I’d get really hungry and then angry and hard to talk to after a couple of hours.  In the end, what that process entails matters only, insomuch, as it is compatible with you, the client.

The process is a blueprint for the relationship. It establishes expectations and sets boundaries. A firm that has a demonstrable and transparent process 1) has been to this rodeo before…a lot, 2) has probably achieved success with their methods 3) values your time as much as their own and doesn’t want to waste either, and 4) cares about the success of your project.


This seems like a no-brainer, but go with a firm you trust. Trusting in your developer allows her to spend more time doing her job and less time explaining (justifying?) it. (see self prescription above) Trust the foundation of any good business relationship, of any good relationship.


Your web development firm should have great translation skills in both directions. They should be able to translate the acronym-heavy language of technology into terms that make sense to you (If you ask; bowling people over with explanations they don’t want could be traumatic.), and they should also be able to assemble the moving parts of technology and design needed to solve your problem.

Me: What about your job gives you satisfaction?  What are the things you love/don’t love about it?

Tiffany: I love my job; like first-crush, secret notebook doodles, phone calls at 3am love. It fulfills my need to be challenged and to contribute something to the world. I make things, and creation is rewarding in a very basic, human way.

I love that while only a select handful of my friends and family understand this thing I do for a living, they all use websites developed by people just like me every single day. Sometimes they use sites I’ve made or worked on. I usually resist the urge to comment on their Facebook shares, “Hey! I built that!”…usually.

I love helping real people and saying things like “Did you see how COOL this is?” when I’m at work.

I love that web developers generally seem to understand that no one succeeds in a vacuum. I love that we are a community and that we help each other out.

Things I don’t love…missing semicolons, nondescript JavaScript errors, HTML email templates that require death-by-table, er, I mean, layout-by-table. And that there isn’t even CLOSE to enough time in the day to read all the good articles that show up in my Twitter feed. Seriously. How do the people posting these thought-provoking gems of knowledge at such an alarming rate get anything done?


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