Are you taking enough risks with your digital marketing strategy? Breaking out of the conservative Indian website designs mindset.
24th April 2011

It always happens the same way. The client starts out enthusiastically to create something new and great and we are mandated to design something outrageous and highly creative. We put on our thinking caps and come up with something really out of the box.

The client's first reaction is wow! But as he starts circulating the design among colleagues and friends and gets feedback he starts to slowly rollback the creativity. Step by step the design gets watered down till it just ends up completely plain jane and 180 degrees from where we started.

So this is my personal message for all clients, would-be site owners and creative people to change the way they approach risk taking in website design and digital marketing.

Out of the box means some element of risk. If you cannot handle it don't ask for it.

If you ask your web design company to create an out of the box campaign it means that there will be an element of risk. Out of the box means taking the road less travelled and forsaking safety in favour of the outrageous. If you or your company is risk adverse or conservative then do not ask your web design company to try something different. Nothing is more demoralizing for a creative team to come up with something cool design only to be watered down later.

Large number of opinions will bring you to the median. The more people you seek feedback from the more it will move towards the average.

Most people whose opinion you will take will be your well wishers and conservative people themselves. Incorporating feedback from a large number of people will ensure that the design moves towards the average with each additional person's input. Many will look at the design and sow doubt in your mind. Its people's nature to criticize and most of this will not be constructive.Stick to a small team of decision makers and only seek feedback within this group. Make sure you advice the group about the out-of-the-box mandate.

There is a difference in how people respond to a working website and how people respond to prototype designs. Take feedback with a pinch of salt.

This is a slightly delicate point. Many people who might provide negative feedback to prototype designs will actually be thrilled if presented the same site in full working format. The act of reviewing / giving feedback brings in a critical view which usually is not present when they browse sites without the burden of giving feedback. Many times people are afraid to look stupid especially in front of their peers might give feedback just to look smart rather than from an expert point of view.

Outrageously designed websites come at a cost of some usability or normal features, be prepared to accept this.

Doing something out-of-the-box might mean that you have to throw away some standard expectations from a website. It might be in the form of an unconventional menu or a slightly slow loading website. Creativity often comes at the cost of some standard feature. If the site is graphical in nature it might mean using very little copy text. If the site uses videos then it might mean it will not load very fast. You might have to trade performance for graphics or some effects. Accept this and enjoy the difference.

Be a champion for your website. Have the balls to see the project through to the end with as few modifications as possible.

Great websites are not made because of managers but are made inspite of them. I have rarely encountered a manager willing to fight for his idea and protect his team's creativity. If you believe in your idea then you should defend it like a lioness protecting her cubs. Courage of conviction and some backbone are necessary to see the design through to the end.

In conclusion as a web designer I want every website to be outrageous and creative. I know that is not possible and the majority of engagements will be conservative and straight forward. But every now and then I get the mandate to do something great and I pray that our client will have the courage to accept a creative and challenging concept and design.


We are design risk takers, take a look at our work at

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