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Hiring a good designer is like hiring someone to cut your hair.

Unless you are very talented and very lucky, cutting the hair on your head is one of the few grooming skills that you shouldn’t perform on yourself. In general, you’ll usually seek out a barber or a stylist to do this for you.

You trust your barber to give you the look that you want. You may have an initial discussion with him to communicate what you’re after. You may even give him examples of similarities: “Make me look like Sinatra” or “I’d love that Richard Simmons look.” And then you let him go for it.

There might be times where you can’t see what he’s doing. He may occasionally ask you to look up at the mirror to check on his progress, as most good barbers will do. He may need your input to see if a section is too short or too long. You don’t tell him when to use the clippers, or add water, or switch to scissors. You trust him and his skills, so you just sit back and enjoy the conversation.

At the end of the day, you’re left with a look that you’re proud to sport. It might take you a few days to warm up to it, or you may instantly fall in love. Either way, you know he did exactly what you called on him to do, and he did it well.

You may decide to grow your hair out, and not need a trim for years, but the next time you need a haircut, you know where to go.


Guy Leech said:

I love the comparison, it’ humorous and accurate.

Posted on February 11, 2008 06:24 PM

Tim Kadlec said:

Good post Daniel! A nice friendly reminder to all clients and potential clients out there to let the designer do his job...that is what he is being paid for. I may end up using this comparison in a few future discussions.

Posted on February 11, 2008 07:39 PM

Trevor Davis said:

So...are you telling us that you are cutting your hair?

Posted on February 11, 2008 09:57 PM

Dan Mall said:

Guy: That’s what I was going for. Success!

Tim: Thanks! I used to use a mechanic analogy, but I’ve found the barber one works better.

Trevor: Actually, this post is to announce to the world that I’m giving up my career as a web designer and becoming a barber. Now if I could only find those scissors…

Posted on February 12, 2008 08:25 AM

Shawn Blanc said:

Does that mean we have to start saying, "Love what you're doing with your site... This drop shadow over here is soooo you."

Posted on February 12, 2008 08:54 AM

Khurt Williams said:

Great post. Do you know where I can find a good designer to create a custom Wordpress template?

Posted on February 12, 2008 12:08 PM

Jon said:

What a killer take on professional relationships with clients! Beautifully put. I'll be borrowing this metaphor later as well :]

Posted on February 12, 2008 02:58 PM

Josiah Platt said:

I love this:

The end.

Posted on February 22, 2008 02:33 PM

Sorry: comments are closed.