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Foreword

Foreword

In a 10-year career, I've designed about a dozen websites. I've redesigned 10 times that many.

Redesign is not only the meat and potatoes of our business, it's also the salad and beverage. But just when and how should you redesign and for what reasons? What questions should you ask before putting pen to paper or stylus to tablet? And how can you manage the process to keep it creatively and financially rewarding?

People often redesign for the wrong reasons. They do it because they've just learned a new technological skill (I'm guilty) or because someone in the organization is tired of the existing look and feel, even though people who use the site may like it just the way it is.

Some launch into redesigns without considering how their users feel or what they need. Still others who've done their brand and user analysis homework up front find themselves losing control of the process further along. What starts as an exciting project can quickly turn into a black hole, sucking up time and money without generating benefits for anyone.

This wonderful book, written in down-to-earth language by professionals for professionals, will help you ask the questions that will start your redesign on a sound footing. It shows how to construct scenarios that lead to people-friendly sites… and how to manage even the most difficult clients every step of the way. The first edition of this book saved my company thousands of dollars by pointing out potential pitfalls so that my clients and I did not have to act them out in the real world.

Read this book, learn its lessons, and three good things will happen:

  1. Your client or boss will be happy.

  2. The people who use your site will be happy.

  3. And most importantly (let's be honest), you will be happy. You'll have done your best work for an appreciative audience — and you'll get to go home before sunrise.

Today is the first day of the rest of your web redesigns. Enjoy.

Jeffrey Zeldman
Autumn 2004

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