Trio Web Design
Trio Web Design

Website Design: The HiPPO, the Artist, the Geek, and the Spender...who's opinion matters most?

posted by Trio Web Design    |   January 3, 2010 12:56

My C-Breakers,

Welcome back! Happy New Year! I thought I would start the new year off with a "relevant" blog pertaining to website design and internet marketing.  I know it probably almost seems foreign after the blogs in December, but I assure you that these "relevant" blogs will be just as interesting!

At the end of November I was watching a Google webinar and the presenter posed this question "who's opinion matters most when it comes to designing your website?"

-The HiPPO - aka. the highest payed person's opinion
-The Artist - aka. the graphic designer
-The Geek - aka. the professional marketing/website measurement specialist
-The Spender - aka. the one who is actually going to buy your product or service

So who's opinion matters most? At first glance you might be thinking that it is a combination of all four.  This assumption is somewhat correct during the beginning stages of developing a website, but in the end the Spender is the key to a successful website design. 

You are probably thinking, well duh! OF COURSE the Spender's opinion matters most! The customer is always right!?! right?

Although the answer might seem obvious, the fact of the matter is that a large portion of websites on the Internet are not designed and modified with the Spender in mind.  Why you say? Well here are three reasons why I believe websites continue to fall short in attracting and maintaining the Spender.

1.  There is a missing link in the design process. The HiPPOs are important because they bring the vision, purpose, and the basic characteristics of the Spender to the design table.  The Artist is necessary (I dislike crushing dreams, but some people need to get real and realize that they might not be gifted in the area of making things "look nice" and leave it to the professionals!).  The missing link is the Geek.  A lot of HiPPOs assume a Geek works with the Artist, but more often then not the Artist doesn't have their own Geek.  The Geek is absolutely necessary because they are the ones who are able to take the vision of the HiPPO and the characteristics of the Spender and translate that to the Artist so that the website is designed to meet business goals and objectives. 

2.  Websites are designed based on opinions and not on facts.  I heard once that when a person expresses their own opinion they are limiting their assessment of an issue to themselves and their own personal little world.  The dictionary defines an opinion as a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.  Opinions are purely and totally subjective. They are completely the product of how you personally see things, and they do not necessarily have any root or foundation in truth whatsoever.  Unfortunately, some people hold their own opinions way to HIGH! I know I said it, but that is the truth.  Keeping personal opinions and preferences in check and relying on actual facts is crucial when it comes to designing a website.

3.  The performance of the website is not measured.  Evaluating the performance of a website is where HiPPOs, Artists, and Geeks can determine if their opinions/facts actually have substance!  The data collected from the measurement tools helps to define the Spender, which in turn provides opportunities to effectively modify and update the website. Most website aren't doing this!

Who's opinion matters most? Well I think the answer to that question isn't simply just the "Spender's opinion".  All in all HiPPOs, Artists, and Geeks need each other, opinions have to be backed up by facts, and websites must be designed and measured with the Spender in mind.  That is my answer.


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Web Design

The End of Company Christmas Party Season

posted by Trio Web Design    |   December 17, 2009 23:53

My dedicated Christmas party attendees,

The company Christmas party season has come to an end.  Some of us might be shouting with joy, others might be shedding a few tears, either way 2009 is coming to an end.

CBB Insight. Take a break this holiday season and enjoy your time with family and friends! Be thankful for the people that matter the most in your life and get excited about the new possibilities coming your way in 2010. 

The Trio Christmas party was a hit.  Although we had a few people joking about the fact that our party would be significantly smaller then most company Christmas party events, we didn't let their comments dampen our enthusiasm.

Our party planner did an excellent job.  We all agreed prior to the planning that we wanted a "mexican" themed party.  The event was completely catered, the venue was vibrantly decorated, and we didn't have to lift a finger the entire time.  The conversation over our meal was interesting. Our topics ranged from future Trio planning to the real purpose and benefit of bunk-beds. 

CBB Insight. When you get us all together there isn't much room for an entertainer!

The best part of the whole party was probably the unexpected dessert.  We had no idea it was coming.  All of us are dessert people.  Nothing tops off a great meal better then a mouth watering dessert.  It probably was the biggest Lava Cake I have ever seen, topped with the biggest scoop of ice cream.

There was a gift exchange, but for the protection of those of us who re-gifted, we thought it would be best not to share what we all received. 

CBB Insight. Knitted Hangers WIN!!!

I hope you all have enjoyed the Awkward Company Christmas Party Games I posted over the last few weeks.  If you missed them be sure to visit and look under the discussion tab. 

Only two more days of work and then the holidays! Enjoy your break today.


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Awkward Company Christmas Party Game #3 & #4

posted by Trio Web Design    |   December 10, 2009 12:51


It's Friday and I am sure that there are a few of you attending a company Christmas party this weekend.  In celebration of the numerous company Christmas parties taking place, I thought it would be fitting to share with you two awkward games.

Why two games you ask? Well....

Firstly, I feel for you.  Company Christmas parties can sometimes be a drag.  So for those who find themselves wishing they were somewhere else instead of at their party, remember these awkward games and permit yourself to have a laugh. It could be worse. 

Secondly, I am compelled to warn you.  It wouldn't be right to keep these games from you.  I am here for you and I want you to have at least a three minute head start to the exit door before the game commences. 


Thirdly, you need something to talk about at that party!

Trio is having its Christmas party this weekend.  I have been assured that our party planner isn't going to be using any of these games, but I did hear through the grapevine that there might be a "secret re-gifting gift exchange" happening.  I wonder who will be getting the knitted clothes hangers!?!

Enjoy the weekend Friends. 


Game #3: Balloon Stomping

Have each person blow up a balloon and take a bit of string and tie the string to the balloon and then to his/her ankle. On the given command, everyone begins to try and stomp on each others balloon without getting their balloon stomped on.  This is great fun! Caution though, be sure that no one gets carried away with the stomping.  The last person standing with their balloon intact wins.

CBB Insight.  I thoroughly enjoyed the writer's extra excitement for this game.  It sounds like great fun.  Interesting.  I also enjoyed the extra caution.  I could see this kind of a game getting out of hand quickly.  All you need is a few unhappy employees and watch out. 

Game #4: The Grouping

This is a good game to play as a mixer. It is a fun, fast moving game. (CBB Insight.  Again the writer is over excited about this game.)

You need a designated leader and then everyone else collects in one big group. The leader initially calls out a number. The number should be more than half of the number of total participants.

When the number is called out everyone must try to collect in a group that contains that number of people. The group members should be latching arms or have their arms wrapped around each other so that the leader can count the people in the group. (CBB Insight. No thank you. Hugging. Far too close for my comfort.)

If someone cannot enter a group because the number of required members has been reached, he/she is out of the game. As different numbers are successively called out, the number of participants gets smaller and smaller. Eventually, there are less than ten people. The last group, or winning group, should have anywhere from two to five people.

CBB Insight. I'm not sure how this game would be a good mixer.  Firstly, the game is fast moving, so you won't be shaking hands and doing introductions.  Let's be serious you skip the shaking hands and are right on to locking arms.  Awkward. Secondly, you need a leader who can count without a calculator.  Thirdly, you need employees who can count without a calculator.  Fourthly, what if you forgot to put on arm deodorant and people exclude you on purpose.  I think that would be devastating.

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Trio Web Design
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