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That Guy’s Tips for Corporate Success, #18 April 16, 2009

Posted by That Guy in A Stunning Example of Synergy, Technology Trouble, Tips for Corporate Success.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

If it’s raining on your boss, it’s raining everywhere. And your boss is only happy when it rains.

The Big Boss here at CorporateSpeak is a bit of a technological mystery. Like most corporate managers in this country, he only has the faintest grasp on (a) what goes into a website and (b) how to best use his company’s online assets — people and sites. But also like most corporate managers in this country, he obsessively pores over our websites looking for really good work we’ve done tiny errors that no one but he would notice. Sometimes they’re legitimate, but most of the time they’re not even related to our work. They’re related to the limitations put upon us by my boss and our corporate office.

Let me explain: I personally design based upon web standards. I test my pages in IE7, Firefox 3, Opera 9, Chrome (the current version; I don’t know the number), and Safari 3. I’m not so great with deprecated browser compatibility, but I do try to check out BrowserShots and at least verify the site in IE6.

CorporateSpeak, on the other hand… the corporate developer only works in IE (though he uses Firebug to diagnose errors, just like everybody else). His designs look perfect in IE7. It’s up to the rest of us to try and make them look good everywhere else. Except that when I make them look good cross-browser, my boss says “well, 90 percent of our users use IE, so let’s just code for that”. Making things look great in IE is a vastly-different process than making them look great in Firefox et al.

So, with that said, let it be known that until recently, the Big Boss used IE6. (Some computers in our office use IE5 and cannot be upgraded because they’re so old. I still laugh about that.) He would look at our site, find things to nitpick, and then get on our case about it. And it became my job to fix these nitpicks.

I just wish I could fix them without making it rain everywhere except in the Big Boss’s office. See, if it’s raining in his office, it’s raining everywhere, but if it’s sunny up there, even if it’s the eye of the storm, it’s sunny everywhere. My readers who work in the news business will appreciate the analogy even more.

The number-one job of a good web designer/developer isn’t to make the customer happy. It’s not to do good work, or to be prescient about problems and put fixes in place.

It’s about making the Big Boss happy. It’s about keeping him (or her) in that big leather chair in that huge office with the hardwood floors and the expensive rugs and out of your work area. If the Big Boss doesn’t see a problem, there isn’t a problem.

The really crappy part, though, is that Big Bosses..? They’re only happy when it rains.

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1. Big Boss Week 1: E-mailing the Big Boss « corporatespeak - June 1, 2009

[…] it’s raining on your boss, it can sometimes be difficult to convince him that the problem is with his computer, not with […]

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