It's always smart,
and sometimes required, that you show your work to others before
it's finalized. They can catch mistakes your eyes have missed. They
can come up with brilliant ideas you haven't thought of yet. But
there is also a big danger in soliciting the opinions of others,
especially if they have no expertise in website design. They might
want you to make changes that cause your mouse to go, "Eek!"
if you're working on someone else's website, their word is final,
even if you don't like it. ("Eek, grrrr!") Sometimes
you can convince your employers of a better way to do it, and
sometimes they won't see past their own fixations. That's life
as a web-servant. But if you have any say in the matter, here
are a few things to keep in mind:
this tutorial as a printable Word Document.
an online survey (using forms) for visitors to fill out and submit
to you. Ask them to rate the site, list favorite pages, and suggest
what they'd like to see added. Ask why they came to this site,
and request other information (such as age, income, gender, marital
status, etc.) that helps you find out what kind of person uses
your site, why, and how often they visit.
someone to be your proof-reader. Even after you've used a spell-checker
and you've read the text a thousand times, you've probably missed
something ~ precisely because you've read it a thousand
a soul-mate ~ another Web designer who has the same skills (or
better) as you do. Develop a relationship (even if only
by email). We all are alone behind these computer screens, so
we need to reach out and seek each others' expertise and camaraderie.