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How Not To Be The Client From Hell

October, 20, 2014 | Articles,The Curve

The web is a fickle realm that most people don’t understand. Most users turn on their devices, navigate to their favorite web portal and do whatever it is that float their boat. If you ask any of them how does it all work, you would be shocked by some of the responses. No one knows this better than you local web designer slash developer. If I had a nickel for every time a client I was dealing with became a Design expert overnight,  I would have a fat wad of cash. Without even being aware of it, some of these individuals become your least favorite person and you systematically avoid them.

Think about all the “Do it Yourself” website builders that are popping up all over the web.  Most designers and developers don’t  ever want to meet or talk to the client and for good reasons. The really smart ones hide behind a team that communicates with the potential client. Why? The solicitor can actually relate to the client on some level. This is a two-way street; some designers have their own ideas about how a project should turn out and that usually leads to disastrous results. I am also guilty of this. Last but not least is the “Dreamer Client”. The one that has great ideas, but no money and just ends up wasting your time.

Step 1: Research

There are several simple steps one can take to avoid these headaches. From a clients perspective, it simply boils down to doing your research and being ready. You cannot come up with a fool-proof plan without gathering pertinent information first.

Step 2: Practicality

Just because your site has some nice images and might seem aesthetically pleasing, does not mean it’s ideal for your business or will generate a ton of cash. The only types that pay attention to designs are other designers. Unless! The website looks homemade and is poorly designed. Everyone will notice then. You have to decide what is more important, your design or performance. I’ve dealt with a client that were adamant over a design that was breaking his website. It was not my design, but the previous designer that abandoned him once he was paid. At some point I had to severe all connections. It seemed as if this character was more interested in listening to his on voice than anything I had to say. Plus, he is a well disguised “Dreamer Client”.

Step 3: Communication

Both client and designer/ developer have to find some sort of balance. The designer does not want his or her brand attached to something that is not up to par. The client does not want his or her website to resemble what should be a layout for a truck stop diner, when their initial business is more along the lines of selling socks and ties. When one party starts pulling to hard, it causes disharmony, and the project starts going in the wrong direction.

Step 4: Objective

Both parties have a common goal. Remaining focus on that goal, has to be put above personal hang ups for both parties. If at some point, you realize this business venture is not going as planned it’s time to take action. You can come up with a common solution that benefits both parties or you can cut your losses and part way. It is pointless to continue with something that is not yielding productive results…