One of my favorite ways of offering my help is to be “on call” to clients. These are the folks who likely already worked with me and know that I don’t mind their out-of-the-blue, “Hey, are we doing this right?” emails.

And so it is that I managed to hook up with a relative newcomer to web design consulting, who has gone solo and begun to offer her services in holistic SEO/M/U/D (Seo, Marketing, Usability and Web Design.) I met her at a conference and was instantly impressed with her complete lack of fear for asking questions and her obvious wish to do everything ethically, professionally and correctly.

She’s taken on a client whose site requires a rebuild of an existing site. As I watch her work and offer tidbits of advice or input when she needs it, I can’t help but think that the very wise client who hired her is getting more than their money’s worth, even if she is a relative unknown with a tiny portfolio. She not only won’t rest until she’s given the project 120% of her best skills, but I can tell she truly cares about the long-term success of her client.

You can’t put a dollar amount on that.

Dare To Be Dedicated and How Dare You Show It!

I see this “extra something” in some members of Cre8asiteforums.

I’ve seen young people go from beginner to the point where they are teaching me stuff. In fact, my interest in CSS was prompted by a wonderful man from the UK who joined my old Cre8pc Website Promotion Club in the 1990′s, and who is now a Site Administrator for Cre8asiteforms. He never stopped learning and growing and this has made him an asset to both the forums, and his employer.

There are those persons in both the Usability/User Centered Design/User Experience Design and Search Engine Behavior, Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing industries who have been given some less than favorable labels because they are long-timers, well-known and often in the position to stir things up with their writings.

I’ve never understood why these people are publically assaulted with hurtful verbal remarks, that we know most of these people would never say to the faces of the people they are blasting. Whenever I see a big name written about in ugly terms, my response is to think the person is jealous, envious, has an ego the size of Jupiter and hasn’t learned how to communicate. Toddlers often react the same way ruthless writers do when they wish to have a public hissy fit.

I have a much different feeling about popular people, and it matters not if I agree or disagree with everything they write or the way they do their work. When someone shows dedication for their craft, and applies that dedication in their work, they most likely have earned my respect.

However, the moment they start negating someone else in public with a barrage of repulsive, vicious remarks, I value their opinion less. It signals to me that they are severely limited in the grace department and guided by their egos.

The Price of Achievement. The Rewards for Passion.

Would you prefer to hire someone who is putting their energy into bettering and testing the accuracy of their skills?

Would you wish to work with someone who finds all sources a free resource for introspection and growth? Or, do you feel more comfortable with attaching yourself to people, ideas and techniques, with no desire to consider other possibilities?

What I find interesting is the people who want the “Can you check this over?” assistance from me tend to lean on the side of “control freak”. This is a good thing in this instance!

One of my favorite moments in my work life was when one of my bosses introduced me to someone and said, “Kim is one of my over-achievers.” I was a single mom then, with two young ones, living on 4-6 hours of sleep while teaching myself web design and SEO. I was never an over-achiever in anything except making sure I got to the best dance clubs on weekends. But when he said this, I realized for the first time that I had a job doing something I really loved and wanted to do, and I wasn’t afraid to share this passion.

Like my new client who isn’t afraid to ask questions. She’s on fire, and it shows in her work.

I think you can tell the kinds of people who have discovered they are good at something and even better, that they adore this thing they do. They share what they know and share what they discover along the way. Sometimes those discoveries are met with resistance by those comfortable with the status quo.

It takes guts to express one’s opinion on the Web. I cringe when I see pioneers and popular people turned into mincemeat because they had the nerve to write their opinion or share observations from the field. There are ways to disagree with someone on the web and still show respect. It is possible to listen and ponder, without judgement or public flaming. Some well-known writers have been met with death threats (I’ve had two myself, for speaking out against “link-farms”) and calls to their homes, where family members are threatened.

The price some people pay for dedication to their craft can be harsh, and yet these same people, when you are lucky enough to hire them or work with them, are priceless.

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Jakob Nielsen's New Usability Book is Now Available


Kim Krause Berg’s long background in web design, SEO and usability includes software application functional and user interface testing, accessibility, information architecture and persuasive design. She shared her passion for Usability and SEO through her site and private consulting at Cre8pc for 17 years. Kim founded Cre8asiteforums in 1998. In the fall of 2012 she sold her forums to Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired from private consulting to join their Executive Management team where she continues her work in usability testing, customer experience and conversions design.

My Online Course: Web Site Usability 101


American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

Information Architecture Institute

Usability Professionals Association (UPA)