View Full Version : Weird requests
11-05-2003, 07:33 AM
Hi, I am brand spanking new to this website and have a question to do with a real design dilemma.
What do you do when:
you made a proper design, put effort into making sure everything balances out well, is easy on the eye and the main issues get enough attention
the customer (who is king) decides that the colours need to be done like that and that, and he wants a picture of his daughter there and a picture of a car there, and it needs to be fullsize and etc. etc. basically he wants to ruin the site.
Dilemma is: he will be fine with the end-result, I will not want to put my name under it anymore :S which way do you go?
And yes I understand you have to discuss it with the client and his wish is king but...
This is my greatest design 'peef' as you call it, any answers?
11-05-2003, 08:56 AM
If you're getting paid, do as you're told! ;)
Of course, advise them. But it's their site after all. Make sure you close the deal and make it clear that any further development is at extra cost. Get it in writing (i.e. on contract agreement). Then, if they see the light and ask you to change it you get paid for the work.
As for having your name on it, what does it matter in the final analysis?
11-05-2003, 09:12 AM
Webdesigning for money is a very hard work when it comes to customer satisfaction. It is a very rare situation, when the customer really knows what he wants. So if it is only a change here and there, tweaking colours and photos - go for it.
Advise, as Sualdam said, but do not force your opinion. Even if it ruins the design, you are hired to make customer happy. And a happy customer is a returning one.
11-05-2003, 09:48 AM
A friend of mine just had similar. He had designed a good looking top end for a site, only to have it replaced with balloons. But, I have enuff faith in him as a designer that I know he will even make even balloons look good.
My point being, even if the cutomer requested the most wierd things, it is meant to be within your ability to make even that look good. If life gives you lemons...make lemonade!
As for putting your credit on it, why not? A potential customer will see that if you can make that content look good, you can make anything look good.
11-05-2003, 12:16 PM
We are going threw the same thing right now. I have thought about giving the guy is money back a couple of times. My problem is after I make the changes he says you where right lets go with what you had. The next day he says I was looking at the site and I think if we made a small change here.
We have had crazy customers here and there but this is the worst.
While telling them this is going to be more money sounds good the problem is that they say your going to charge me more just to change these colors. They do not see that we have made a thousand little changes here and there but the site always comes back to where we started.
11-05-2003, 12:40 PM
The weirdest request I ever got was to check the spelling and grammar on Janeth's site.
Fortunately for me my clients are small, very very small, businesses and are usually very computer illiterate. I show them a basic design of what the site will look like and then ask them what they would like on it content wise.
11-05-2003, 02:25 PM
I've been in this situation before. Pretty much the whole first year or so at the job I'm working now, I got the "Can we make it flash? Can we make it blink?" thing often. (And, carbonize, this is a small business that was mostly computer illiterate. :))
If you feel like debating, give him a good reason why you would do it the way you would do it. Tutorials, articles, even forum posts are good. If he doesn't go for that you might also want to suggest that you try some testing; try it one way for a little while, and then the other and see which gets the better results (conversion, hits, whatever is most applicable).
If that doesn't work, they're still driving you crazy, and you can't handle it, then you might just want to get out as soon as possible (whether that means giving them back their money or avoiding any sort of long-term work after your job is complete). You'll be happier that way.
11-05-2003, 02:36 PM
I'm coordinating the set-up of a micro-site for my company at the moment. Everything we do has to be agreed by 'the team' (i.e. my work colleagues) before I can get it done.
So, I emphasised to them that the only reason we have been allowed to do this is to make a return on the investment and attract business. Therefore, we need to:
a) Be 'findable' against relevant search criteria
b) Tell people concisely who we are
c) Tell people concisely what we do
d) Allow people to concisely place an official enquiry.
So, I put this to 'the team' and I end up having to go back to the corporate webmaster and get quotations for the inclusion of video, a full Flash intro, Flash banners, animated GIFs, and so on.
Fortunately, the written quotations for each of these extras scared the living daylights out of my boss and we're back where we needed to be.
Moral: charge for everything, and get it in writing.
11-05-2003, 09:42 PM
I hate to be the sayer of negativism but,
while you may have done a great job crafting
a website... I think you may not have done as good
of a job discussing the project with the client
before starting. Well, that's the impression
I get anyway.
As has been mentioned before, if the client want
something that doesn't make sense - because the
load time goes to 3 minutes or you can't read the text,
etc.... then it's your obligation to inform him of
the consequences of his wants (sounds like Dr.
Phil advice). Ultimately, it's the client's
decision, but unless the client has more knowledge
or web experience than you... they "should" listen
Translating real-world business success to the
web (virtual world) can be a challenge. Some
business owners tink that duplicating their brochure
on-line = a good website.
If you can't convince him now... what a while when
the site is not effective, he may be more receptive.
11-18-2003, 11:08 AM
Start out with "the final decision is yours, but..."
Then explain carefuly, thoroughly, and in layman's terms, why you want or don't want to do something. There are good reasons for why you're the designer and want to do something else. I've found that if I'm clear about why something is a bad idea, even if I have to write a novelette, the client is usually open to my input. Offering alternatives is good, too. "You can't put your daughter's picture there because... but we could put it..."
11-26-2003, 03:54 PM
Wow! Can I ever sympathize with this peeve! Check out this site:
Now imagine it at about 1/2 its scale. I provided this client with four samples. This was the worst of the four. I designed to work within an 800x600 resolution screen. And they approved it.
Then when I posted the finished site on my server for their review, they said it was too small. It did not fit their monitor which was 1152x864. I know; an odd size. I could not convince them that their monitor resolution was not standard and that making it bigger would affect a large portion of their client base. Well, they insisted. So I did the redesign. Then the images where not clear enough. They wanted the resolution on the images higher so it looked like the pictures in their magazine ad. I explained to them that increasing the size has made the image file larger, and now making the resolution on the images greater would increase the file size even more. I explained about clients leaving if they have to wait more than a couple seconds to see anything. They insisted, so I did. Then the text had to be four times bigger than it was. I can only imagine the prescription for their eye glasses.
Well, to make a long story longer, I did everything they wanted. And I got paid well for it. Did I want to quit the project? Several times. But I kept reminding myself that the client had their expectations. Would I do another project like this? Probably not. I also now have a much better evaluation program in place to help explain and defeat a lot of the issues I dealt with in this project.
The customer is always right, until he steps outside the guidelines you set in the beginning of the project. The ultimate goal is to provide the customer with another successful avenue to market to his clientele. If what he wants to do, does not achieve that goal then you as a designer should feel justified in pulling back on the rains and reminding him of his goal and what will or won't get him there. If what he wants doesn’t affect the core design/development principles, then let him have the changes.
Wow. Long message. Sorry. Best of luck to you.