Creating a couple of mockups for a site has some real benefits, and it doesn’t just effect the appearance. It can also enhance the code and navigation of a site. Creating two versions for a site may sound like an extra expense, a simple pain in the butt, seem pointless, but it helps a site out a lot.
Avoid thinking it’s this version or the other. Think, we like this part of this version better, and we like that part of the other version better. As the main site architect, you can pick and pull the best parts of the two designs.
On my latest project I was disappointed the site owner did not choose my design, but they did end up using my styles in regards to formatting text and the content. The outcome? A great looking site that offered the best of design, and the best of formatting. If there was/is only one developer working on your project, I know you could do better. Don’t be satisfied with good enough.
Another benefit to creating parallel designs is the fact that webmasters often use different tools or methods to accomplish the same effect. Having at least two different ways to see a page in action has some great benefits.
An example might be a webmaster that prefers flash for a certain effect where another webmaster might know how to create the same effect using CSS. Which one works best for your users?
Another big win here is improved navigation. Two different webmasters working on a project can very easily come up with two logical, but different, ways to accomplish the same task. Combine these two ideas with a little user testing, and navigation to your site will always get a thumbs up.
Have you ever worked on a website where there is more than one webmaster? Pride is the only initial obstacle. The end result though, will be a greater pride of a fantastic site that only a team could build.