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Tough Clients (rabble, rabble, rabble)

  • # December 15, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Hey guys,

    How often have you had a client completely destroy your designs? To the point you no longer include them in your portfolio (or just keep the original mock-up without a link to their live site).

    The client doesn’t understand the concept of white space, “hey that spot is too bland, shove 4 pictures in there”. Legibility? pfft make all the “font orange with a wavy background!”. And such, obviously I respectfully insisted otherwise on many of those decisions.

    Still, what do you guys do in these situations, when they want changes you know are very poor design-wise yet are willing to keep paying for it?



    # December 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    In the end, it really is up to them.

    My conversations usually go something like,

    “As a professional in this industry, I don’t think that is a good idea, and here’s why…” and then I explain it all around. Then I make sure I have an alternative. So then it’s not just “no”, you actually have something they can immediately consider. And usually always ends in, “I’ll obviously defer to your final decision, but I strongly recommend another course of action”.

    Then you just let it go (but definitely exclude it from your portfolio :)

    # December 16, 2011 at 12:00 am

    It happens, fortunately not that often, though. If you approach it correctly, 9 times out of 10 (if not more) you can get them to see that what they’re requesting won’t actually benefit the website.

    # December 16, 2011 at 2:03 am

    I have had some of the best designs i have ever done destroyed post project because they had friends who “know html” make updates….unfortunately they had no clue what css was and filled my work with deprecated tags etc… ( ftw!) completely ruined my layouts, added so many extra nav items there were 3 lines of horizontal items…needless to say broke all my sexy semantic valid mark up (angry face)…eventually leaving me irritated and consequently forcing me to omit them from my portfolio.

    # December 16, 2011 at 6:20 am

    @JoshWhite “”I’ll obviously defer to your final decision, but I strongly recommend another course of action”.

    I like that closing statement :)

    @TheDoc Yeah I completely agree, 9 times out of 10, if you have explained it professionally (like JoshWhite’s example conversation), you will have shown clear reasons why any particular solution needs to reflect the target audience goals instead of the clients. Unfortunately this particular client seems to brush off (or completely forget) these details and keeps pushing.

    @Kgscott284 I haven’t (yet) run into someone else destroying my markup, though I’m sure that day will come.

    This client is just an echo from the past that keeps getting louder..

    Thanks for the responses!

    # December 16, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Happens so often to me that I deliver a site to a client, and then when some other internal numbnut is being assigned to make updates, he uses frickin’ TABLES all over the place…..

    During design/development phase, I often try just once to tell them something like “I wouldn’t do it like that, because of this and that…“. If they respond something like “Well yea, but it’s fancy and nice! I want it like that anyway, can you figure it out? OK thanks.” then I know that trying to change their minds on their own ideas will be waste of time for the rest of the project, and so I won’t even bother anymore (this often results in projects NOT on my portfolio).
    If they respond “Ok well you’re the expert!“, then I usually know they are willing to listen and take my advice on such issues.

    I find there’s only those two types of clients. Rarely have I seen middle ground.

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