Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

Greater Expectations

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Spent a few hours working on a website yesterday and will spend a lot of time working on it today.  I’ve been looking at “award winning” website designs for about a week now, and there are common elements I like; lots of white space, simple layouts, conversational language, and reminders, reminders, reminders, as in, a big button to take people someplace even though that place is also in the navigation bar.  It’s like the newsroom axiom “tell them what you’re gonna tell them,” “tell them” and “tell them what you told them.”  And I’m certainly no professional web designer.  But this software is open source and decent (Serif) and I’m glad I stumbled on it.  I’m sure there are lots of others.  And me being the kind of slightly OCD guy that I am, I did my share of investigating.  But, the Internet is like that study of people being paralyzed trying to choose between too many brands of ketchup or jelly or something.  You can run spreadsheets all day, but eventually, you know as much as you can stand and you just pick one. 

And what does any of this have to do with the purpose of this blog, which is to keep you up on who and how I interview you?  Nothing, and everything.  Nothing because this is grunt work. I like learning but I hate learning curves.  And it takes soooooooooooooooo much time to do this myself, to think everything through, to do and redo until I get it right.  But I’ve gone to designers and consultants and got worked into their schedules and spent money and got nothing I was satisfied with.  Sometimes, it’s almost like I not only need to know what I want to do, but I’ve got to understand the machinery of the industry that says it can do it for me.  Sometimes, it feels like that machinery is only interested in flipping me like a house and moving on to the next dreamer.  So, I do it myself.  And if it looks like I just threw something together and told myself, “It looks alright,” other people will say, “This looks like crap,” and assume the same about the quality of the rest of my work.  But that’s where it means everything. It’s got to be the best I can do and look as credible and be as functional and valuable to you as I can make it. It’s got to be a place where people say, “The website of that guy that does the interviews?”  “It’s pretty good.”   That would be nice.

Written by Interviewer

August 11, 2012 at 23:17

Posted in Art

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