when you don't like the look of the customer's website..

  • sherma
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I know I'm not the only one... you're hired by someone to "design", build, and maybe even manage a website for them.

You begin designing, creating graphics, a layout, etc. They may even tell you "I would like to have "(fill in theme here)" and you work all day on it (or night), and then they take a look at it and send you a "gaudy" image (that has NOTHING to do with the theme they said they wanted) and say they want THAT for the bg.

Well, yes. It's their prerogative, and it's their website, and sometimes it may even be "theme" (you know .. someone takes one look at it and says "oh that is SO much like the person".. then on the other hand, if it is not a statement of them or their company, if I think that it looks bad or that they don't realize that it is bad enough to create a high bounce rate, I will try and offer suggestions.

In the end, when they can't be persuaded to change their mind, I start thinking of some "considerate" way to ask them not to tell anyone that I did their website.. (ok, not really, but you understand what I mean, right?)

What do you do? I know that I have learned to look at websites and not judge the the web designer/builder because of my own experience (unless it's just really bad code and doesn't work program-wise). I don't think everyone is that way though.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You cash the check & forget about it.
  • mindfullsilence
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I try to make it clear in the beginning of picking up the client that I am a designer, not a photoshop user. The difference being that a designer has extensive knowledge on color theory, color psychology, usability, contrast, line theory, art history, and textural harmony. A photoshop user downloaded the program and is there to take direction from the client word for word.

I explain to the client that a photoshop user is very easy to find, and a lot cheaper to hire than a designer. However, if they are looking for a quality piece of art, than the direction of the art will be directed and deployed by me.

Also, when a client says "I don't like that", instead of replying with "how would you like it done" I instead aim for an open-ended question like "how does this clash with the message you're trying to convey?" If they don't have a good answer, than I suggest that we move the conversation to elements of the design that don't portray their message well.
  • Poly
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The customer is not always right. I explain to them that THEY hired ME, as an expert in the design field, to create for them a website(or other design related media) that would properly display their product, service, etc. And that they should trust the expert to do their job. Should they disagree with my point of view, I fire the client.

I had for a long time bent over backwards to do what the customer/client requested and wanted done, lots of times ending up with a hideous abomination that I wouldn't want to touch with a computer controlled 20ft pole. I have since reached a point where I am no longer needing to try hard to keep clients or to find clients.

When you find good clients that are easy to work with and respect your knowledge as a designer, work hard to keep them. They will spread the word to their friends/coworkers/etc that you are skilled and are easy to work with. It will take time to build up your list of clients, but it will eventually happen.

I have been asked this several times and my response is always similar to the above. The three things I firmly believe in are:

1: Do not over value a client(this doesn't mean be rude or anything similar, it means don't spend hours and hours doing extra, often times free work or going against design principles, etc to keep the client). If people see good design work, they will inquire, and you will earn a new client. If they see bad work, your SOL. There will always be another client, don't be afraid to fire the current one if they start involving themselves heavily in your work.

2: Do not under value your work. Client needs something changed or updated, charge them. Don't be shy about your pricing. If a client is beating you up about your price, don't bend or break. Its a sign of weakness and they will take advantage of it. I have NEVER had a client tell me afterwards that the money they spent wasn't worth it. I get repeat business from the majority of my clients, and after the first time, they never question the pricing I provide. I charge what I believe is fair, which motivates me to do the best I possibly can, which keeps your customers happy and coming back.

3: Communicate, communicate, communicate. Setup a document in word or photoshop, or however you prefer to do it, that allows you to quickly write up a worklog. Do so at the end of each days work. Get in the habit of doing this, and sending them to your client, even if they did not ask for you to do so. Keeping them informed of your progress on a regular basis will help them to feel that they made the right decision in going with you and that they can trust you to do the work they need done. I usually break it down by hours, so they can see exactly how they are spending their money.

I like to link to this frequently, and even send it to clients from time to time to remind them why they hired me to do the work. Some of the things the person who made this said on it has actually happened to me(clients bringing their mother or other family member to a business meeting to inform me about how I need to change my designs, etc). I was doing fliers and a website for a pet adoption event at one point(specifically dogs only), and the person in charge of the event brought his wife in on the process(older couple). She insisted that everybody liked a variety of animals and that I needed to add several pictures of cats to the website in order to "balance it out". Drove me insane(and was one of the reasons I started firing clients).
  • sherma
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ok, I feel better now :)

I do have one project that I have been working on recently and have gladly agreed to continue on as their web manager. They are an artist (painting) in their free time and wanted to use some of their art as backgrounds.

The only thing I saw as an issue, is that none of the pages follow an over all common scheme. We have spent a lot of time on the phone and I was able to "create" backgrounds *from* the artwork and each page conforms to a common header, menu, footer, etc. It was actually a fun challenge, and they told me this morning that a couple of people have messaged to ask how to get in touch with me (made my day, not so much the thought of the money, but the appreciation and recognition).
  • Zealous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

poly wrote:
The customer is not always right. I explain to them that THEY hired ME, as an expert in the design field, to create for them a website(or other design related media) that would properly display their product, service, etc. And that they should trust the expert to do their job. Should they disagree with my point of view, I fire the client.

I had for a long time bent over backwards to do what the customer/client requested and wanted done, lots of times ending up with a hideous abomination that I wouldn't want to touch with a computer controlled 20ft pole. I have since reached a point where I am no longer needing to try hard to keep clients or to find clients.

When you find good clients that are easy to work with and respect your knowledge as a designer, work hard to keep them. They will spread the word to their friends/coworkers/etc that you are skilled and are easy to work with. It will take time to build up your list of clients, but it will eventually happen.

I have been asked this several times and my response is always similar to the above. The three things I firmly believe in are:

1: Do not over value a client(this doesn't mean be rude or anything similar, it means don't spend hours and hours doing extra, often times free work or going against design principles, etc to keep the client). If people see good design work, they will inquire, and you will earn a new client. If they see bad work, your SOL. There will always be another client, don't be afraid to fire the current one if they start involving themselves heavily in your work.

2: Do not under value your work. Client needs something changed or updated, charge them. Don't be shy about your pricing. If a client is beating you up about your price, don't bend or break. Its a sign of weakness and they will take advantage of it. I have NEVER had a client tell me afterwards that the money they spent wasn't worth it. I get repeat business from the majority of my clients, and after the first time, they never question the pricing I provide. I charge what I believe is fair, which motivates me to do the best I possibly can, which keeps your customers happy and coming back.

3: Communicate, communicate, communicate. Setup a document in word or photoshop, or however you prefer to do it, that allows you to quickly write up a worklog. Do so at the end of each days work. Get in the habit of doing this, and sending them to your client, even if they did not ask for you to do so. Keeping them informed of your progress on a regular basis will help them to feel that they made the right decision in going with you and that they can trust you to do the work they need done. I usually break it down by hours, so they can see exactly how they are spending their money.

I like to link to this frequently, and even send it to clients from time to time to remind them why they hired me to do the work. Some of the things the person who made this said on it has actually happened to me(clients bringing their mother or other family member to a business meeting to inform me about how I need to change my designs, etc). I was doing fliers and a website for a pet adoption event at one point(specifically dogs only), and the person in charge of the event brought his wife in on the process(older couple). She insisted that everybody liked a variety of animals and that I needed to add several pictures of cats to the website in order to "balance it out". Drove me insane(and was one of the reasons I started firing clients).


i love it.

could not have said it any better
  • sherma
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Me too, Zealous.. I printed it out!
  • Zealous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

sherma wrote:
Me too, Zealous.. I printed it out!


hahahahaha great idea doing the same and putting it on my wall above my computer. :)
  • Zealous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

with that link posted i found a buy me now of that poster so i went screw it, it will look good on my wall.

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