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Worst Web Design Clients - Every Designers Nightmare
DXL




msg:4234754
 3:06 am on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Most of my clients are great. Here is a profile list I've written for those that aren't so great.

Father Time: The client who emails you three days into a project to ask if you have anything to show them, despite telling them in advance that a sample won't be ready for several weeks.

Lemonade Maker: Any client that pushes for new ways to have features added while trying to avoid having their quote adjusted.

The Procrastinator: The client that holds up project development for unreasonable amounts of time over a single photo or bit of content that they never get around to providing.

The Googler: The client that wants to know why they aren't showing up for any Google organic searches the day after their site launches.

The Kamikaze: The client that absolutely insists on horrid color schemes or graphic ideas that totally distract visitors, despite you putting in your two cents.

The Fantasy: A prospective client that mentions their budget is only $200, and begins by telling you that "they don't want a lot of flash animation"

The Busy Expert: "I could do the website myself, but..."

The Lawn Gnome: The client who insists that hit counters, "under construction" clipart and talking virtual host flash is exactly what the site needs.

The Interior Decorator: The client that logs in without telling you, and defaces your work with fonts and pictures that aren't web-ready.

I'm Not So Sure: The prospective client that wants a complete mockup of the entire site before deciding to do business.

Phone Man: The client who insists on calling several times a day. This client also won't review the site until he can get you on the phone and make you wait so he can look at it.

The Bad Bluffer: Any client who attempts to acquire their hosting access information while refusing to indicate why.

The Picasso: Clients who insist on taking a screen shot of any work done and "improving" it with their own horrendous graphics done in Windows Paint.

The Bob Barker: The Client who doesn't have any cash, but has a great idea, and will allow you to share in the earnings if you design his site.

Captain Optimism: The client who wants you to register cool.com. He typed the address into his browser, and no site was there, so it obviously must be available.

The Bigshot: Clients that spend a week talking about a 5k budget, but decide that they'll start off with a $300 site.

 

jecasc




msg:4234826
 9:11 am on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Not to forget the client that wants his website for free, but promises to tell all of his friends that you made it. Then everyone will want you to make a website and you will be rich in no time. In fact - for offering you this great opportunity you should be paying him to let you make your website.

Or the client that wants you to ad little feature to his website. Should be no problem at all to implement, five minutes works to the max. All you would have to do ist add a little button there on the left side of the navigation bar. When he just asked you to implement a feature in the website that would be like asking the car mechanic to add a 4 Wheel Drive to your car. I am sure the mechanics biggest problem is where to put the button to activate it.

Reminds me of this:

[theoatmeal.com...]

g1smd




msg:4234862
 11:34 am on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Single pieces of missing content, and missing images are not an issue. They get a standard placeholder image - and when they complain that the image is missing, it's simple - "you haven't supplied it".

wyweb




msg:4234912
 2:42 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Nicely done DXL...

I might add -

The Ghost Partner: A few months ago I had a client who signed off on everything I put in front of him. The words "Exceptional" and "Outstanding" were littered throughout his emails and phone conversations. I had no other contact point but him and had assumed he had final approval power.

After considerable time and effort on my part I get a very ominous email one morning informing me that work I had been led to believe was finished would need to be okayed by his partner, a partner I hadn't even known existed until then.

2 days later a 10K change list followed.

DXL




msg:4235143
 5:31 am on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

The Ghost Partner


I've had to deal with that exact situation before.

The more common spin on it is when a business manager gives a personal stamp of approval on each step of project development. Right when we're about to launch, the actual business owner (who I was given the impression was always in the loop) decides that he completely hates the layout.

enigma1




msg:4235330
 4:44 pm on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here is a profile list I've written for those that aren't so great.

Seems to be a long list. Too many unhappy ones and to tell you the truth I don't see anything out of the ordinary. All of the points show poor communication with your clients and/or high expectations on your part. If the client is an expert in SEO, web layout, management, marketing etc., he wouldn't be talking to you.

topr8




msg:4235333
 4:59 pm on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

>>All of the points show poor communication with your clients and/or high expectations on your part

this is foo! i think the OP was trying to be frivolous and entertaining...

... and i WAS amused, it was a fun list and well labelled!

Demaestro




msg:4235337
 5:29 pm on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

The Used Car Salesmen: Right before asking you to submit a quote for the work he tells you that he has already received some great quotes under what he was originally budgeting for, but wants to see if you can best them.

On a real note, the ghost partner can be somewhat dealt with by including a paragraph in your work contract where the client contact with approval authority is defined and named. Although I am sure that wouldn't stop some similar situations at least it gives you leverage.

weeks




msg:4235467
 11:12 pm on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

The Pseudo-Webmaster: They have bought costly hosting from a company you've never heard of with enough bandwidth to run CNN, expensive stock photos which are not appropriate and they also had an unworkable logo created in light blue and yellow. You only find out about all of this after you take the job, with the department head saying, "use what I have bought so we don't look bad."

weeks




msg:4235469
 11:16 pm on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Re, the Ghost Partner: Their spouse doesn't like it.

DXL




msg:4235481
 12:19 am on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Re, the Ghost Partner: Their spouse doesn't like it.


This happens a lot =D

Seems to be a long list.


Not unusual for a designer that gets more than five clients a year ;)

wyweb




msg:4235542
 6:37 am on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

In all fairness you can write a contract that will eliminate, or at least protect you in any of these situations. It'll be 30 pages long and any prospective clients that aren't completely scared away by it will be left thinking you're a total paranoiac.

I've won over many clients with a "down home - I'm right next door" approach. I do a lot of Mom and Pops who make scented candles in their garage or goats milk soap in their bathroom. I've had to walk some of them through step by step instructions on how to attach images to their emails. One memorable client wasn't even quite sure how to use the brand new digital camera she'd just bought, this in spite of having the user manual right in front of her face. Terminology overwhelms some of these people. A work contract that covered every conceivable base I could be concerned with would send them running for the hills.

Conversely, I've dealt with companies in the past that knew exactly what they wanted, had a front man who was web savvy and quick to respond to any questions I had. They're rare though and the ones with deep pockets and a willingness to spend are even rarer. I've learned over the years to tailor my initial consult to the feedback I'm getting from my client. 30 page contracts are appropriate for some. For others they're a deal breaker. If I had 10 designers on my staff this might not matter as much to me. I'm a one-man show and if I need to be gentle to get the job I will be very, very gentle.

There are other approaches of course. This one keeps me busy though. I sub out more work than I do myself these days.

cmnetworx




msg:4235563
 7:37 am on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

This list is so true.
I had one client that was a Lemonade Maker, Googler, Fantasy client bundled..
On top of that I would get text messages all hours of the night about minor changes to the website she desired. This went on for weeks and then she won a "$3,000 valued website" from some other company and ended up using the one I designed for about a month. A good lesson is the only positive thing I can think came from that..

tangor




msg:4235575
 8:31 am on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have a clause in my contract that says "If client contacts webmaster more than once a week, all fees will be doubled." Seems to get the message across.

(I wish!) Bwahahahaha!

jecasc




msg:4235593
 9:08 am on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

The SEO expert from yesteryear: Hands over a list of keywords that have nothing to do with his business whatsoever and wants them stuffed at the bottom of his website.

milosevic




msg:4236174
 9:39 am on Nov 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Single pieces of missing content, and missing images are not an issue. They get a standard placeholder image - and when they complain that the image is missing, it's simple - "you haven't supplied it".


Love it, will have to remember that :)

graeme_p




msg:4236249
 1:18 pm on Nov 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have only ever done three client sites (its a sideline, I spend most of my time on my own sites), and I try do to development and all round webmastering rather than design, but I have already come across:

The cloner: wants it to be exactly like a site they decided they like.

The low tech: Cannot manage to learn to use the CMS, and comes to you for evey change

"I just need a simple site": I tell them I have a minimum fee. I know exactly how simple its going to be by the time we are through.

DXL




msg:4236466
 10:32 pm on Nov 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

In all fairness you can write a contract that will eliminate, or at least protect you in any of these situations. It'll be 30 pages long and any prospective clients that aren't completely scared away by it will be left thinking you're a total paranoiac.


That's the tricky part.

We just need to figure out how to make it work for us like construction companies do with their contract rules on change requests:

[i211.photobucket.com...]

wyweb




msg:4236933
 5:01 pm on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Nice boat.

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