Why CEO’s should never have design influence!

A CEO is like the president, they give the executive orders. The problem lies with just that. They give the word “action“. But if you ever noticed the president has an entourage, like any CEO should have. This entourage typically consists of people with different backgrounds and expertise that present the plan for the action.

CEOs have a hard time making the best decision for a website concept, which can be very understandable.  Their job is to focus on the “business moment” or the immediate problem or business development that requires their attention. This “business moment” as we will call it doesn’t always translate perfectly to a web page. CEO’s typically like to discuss or explain how they see the business moment on the website. The problem is, a lot of times it doesn’t align with the design, workflow, or even with what the VP of Marketing or Product have planned.

Worst yet, some CEOs’ don’t like to be told that their design request, or desired workflow is absolutely horrible.

And as we all know when a request comes from the CEO, the due date is normally “immediately”.

How to Handle your CEO’s “Immediate” Requests

I have had several experiences working with different CEOs through website modifications, relaunches, and new websites. And most of time their idea may induce what’s currently on their mind, but miss the entire user experience and company messaging.

Now here is the hard part, you have to “grow a set of balls” and I use this as a phrase to condone you to STAND THE FUCK UP FOR YOURSELF. As a web developer, as a patriot for your design, website and hard work. Let your CEO know that you are going to take his opinion and “immediate” demand and work with the appropriate people of your team, VP of Marketing/Product/Design, and make his idea easy to understand for a user so that you can personally have an effect on the website traffic and conversions. Because you care about picturing your readers enjoying their user experience on the company’s website.

Your CEO should respect you for this and be happy that they hired a Smartass like you with the pride to say “Whoa Whoa” and apply strategy and plan, just like a politician would need.

How Chris Coyer changed my life…

Chris Coyer. Don’t know him? well you should.

Mr. CSS-Tricks. Mr. Save my life a million times when trying to figure out why the hell something isn’t acting the way I expect it to with CSS/HTML/JS. I can’t say I have ever had the pleasure of working with Chris Coyer, although I can say that I am a frequent visitor to three of his amazing websites that help me advance my professional skills as a developer:

http://css-tricks.com
– A wonderful site to boost your web development, design, and overall development skills.

http://codepen.io
– Wonderful inbrowser code-editor that uses several nice features of Code-Mirror that has similar shortcuts to the popular front-end editor Sublime. It is extremely useful for testing concepts and troubleshooting your code.

http://shoptalkshow.com
– Podcast with Chris Coyer and Dave Rupert. They invites several tech guests, talk about the latest drama in development, and throw out some radical sound board sounds.

In fact, I find css-tricks hard to escape. If you search with a CSS question, you typically find results for stackoverflow.com and css-tricks with Chris’s friendly “mug”  beside the link. I have been using his website for the past 3+ years to help me troubleshoot, advance, and even for ideas on new websites and website redesigns.

If you have never visited CSS-Tricks and your are a front-end developer, you are probably missing  few things in your toolbox.

Several organizations such as Adobe, Mozilla and w3c are typically spoken about as driving forces in the web. I wanted to give “props” where they are deserved. Chris is a guy in the development industry that pushes the web forward, he seems to consistently ideas for code and design. He goes to show us that 1 man can have a HUGE influence on an industry.

Most people would associate Chris as a developer for Codepen and CSS-Tricks, but more than anything I consider Chris Coyer as an educator in our industry.

With all of this being said, I recommend checking out his websites and picking up a few tips for your own development.