9 times out of 10 a client will give me a solution without telling me what the problem they're trying to solve is when it comes to making changes to their website.
It’s natural. They believe changing something which isn’t right in their opinion will make an improvement. Without sounding condescending, we’re the experts!
I was recently asked to test a website in UAT (user acceptance testing). My first thought when the homepage loaded on my laptop was ‘why is the fixed header (logo, nav, search) taking up a 3rd of the screen?’ Part of the process is to ensure the build matches the visual. The header section in the visuals didn’t take up so much space.
So what’s the issue? Why doesn’t it look the same? The logo! Because the logo was almost 50% larger than what it was in the designs the space it was taking up had naturally increased the size of its container. It also made everything else within the header look unbalanced. “What’s going on here” I asked the Dev team. I didn’t have to ask, I already knew the answer…
“The client asked to ‘Make the Logo bigger”.
A little bit of me just died inside. My motivation to test this site had now significantly decreased. What was interesting was when I tested the site on small devices. The logo hadn’t been enlarged. It probably would have taken up the whole screen!
I was disappointed the client had asked for this during UAT. They’d signed off the designs and were perfectly happy with the logo in the visual. I think I was more disappointed we’d given in to the request. But it’s not uncommon. If the project has hit a few bumps then you may be inclined to just do whatever the client says as they’ve already dictated the majority of the look and feel. You’ve pretty much given up pride in the project due to the relationship with the client that rather than debate the solution you say “ok”.
If you’re not in that place (it doesn’t happen often) then we ask the question “what’s the problem you’re trying to solve” then the solution could be a much aesthetically please one.
“Can you make the logo bigger.”
“I can yes, but why?”
“We want it to stand out more to emphasise the brand.”
There are better ways of making it stand out more rather than increase its size. It’s position could be a factor. Rather than place it on the far left, move it to the centre. Or simply create more space around it to give it greater prominence.
Let’s be honest, your users are not browsing your website to become familiar with your logo. They’re there to use your services. And if your services are lost half way down the page because your larger logo has forced it down there’s a chance you may lose a potential customer. In my opinion, a big huge logo makes your website look amateurish. The most prominent element on your homepage should be your CTA (call to action) buttons.
It’s the same with any request/solution. “Do this, move that, change this, add that”…
Start with Why?
Is it because you’ve run a customer survey and they’ve asked for this new feature? Or is it because you ‘think’ it’s what they want. Anything you do should be evidence based. We create the evidence by measuring and learning then building.
If heat mapping tells us no one clicks the logo, does this warrant increasing its size? Maybe users are more comfortable clicking the ‘home’ link in the navigation. What if we took the home link out of the nav? Would heat mapping show an increase in logo clicks? Ultimately what’s the purpose of the page? If it’s to click something else then do we need to increase the number of clicks on the logo?
This is where you can split test to see what works best. If the client won’t back down and you’re adamant it won’t improve anything but in fact, make it worse then you could suggest a/b testing.
Ask not what your logo can do for your website but what your website can do for your logo.
The ‘make the logo bigger’ request is a common request and one all designers joke about. So much so there are some pretty funny spoofs on the web. My favourite has to be the ‘make the logo bigger cream’:
A tube of cream which can be spread onto any logo whether on paper or screen and will instantly increase the size.
There’s even a Chrome Extension to solve the problem.
Here’s a song to finish: