Why is the client request always:
Can you put this on the homepage for us please?
We have some new content ready for our website that we would like to feature, what do you suggest?
Typically, we designers are hired in the first place because of our design and user experience expertise. Why does it always seem like, over time, this relationship deteriorates, and that original respect is lost.
Ultimately, I think it’s because every client has a repressed wish to be a designer. They just feel this really strong urge to show you “who’s boss”, and they need to feel in control in every step of the process. God forbid they would trust us Web Designers to do our job! I wonder if they exercise such control in all areas of their business :).
hahaha its true….its true..
I had a talk with a client just a couple days ago about this. People feel like they already know what needs to be done to fulfill their needs and give you a task list. I told him that it would be best to avoid conflict if he told me what his needs were instead of just telling me what to do (as often what he wants is quite out of the question as far as site functionality goes). It’s a pretty common perception: people feel that as they become somewhat familiar with a subject that they are an authority on it. With so many people giving conflicting advice anymore, I feel that the behavior is understandable but that does not make it any less annoying or counter-productive.
lol – I love getting requests like that too… it’s not like we suggest to a dentist the best way for them to pull a tooth out… it really bugs me that 90% of people never take designers seriously.
I manage a college website and this is the #1 issue we run into from a political standpoint. Result: A disproportional amount of front-page real estate is used for information about the president and the things he personally has requested we feature on the home page, almost none of which is of much value to the people who actually visit the website.
I worked for about a month for a small web company who allowed the clients to run all over the designs. I tactfully suggested to my boss that as web professionals, it is our duty to suggest the right way to present information. I even used the stance of “I don’t expect them to listen to me when I tell them how to fix my transmission. I trust their experience.” I was told something along the lines of “the customer is always right.” I soon thereafter left the company. I’ve found there are relatively few web companies in Houston that use a proactive stance with their clients rather than the reactive that you speak of. Fortunately, my other contract has people who understand the function of web professionals and trust our suggestions.
Yeah, I think because in the beginning the clients look to us as ‘experts’ and after a while into the relationship they think that they have learned from us and value our knowledge a little less. My 2 cents. I just think that we always have to remind our clients that WE are the experts and let us do what is best.
To me, it really depends on the content that you’re asked to “place on the homepage”. If it is the same sort of content that you’ve always placed on the homepage, such as news updates, then I don’t see a problem with a client asking me to place more news on the homepage.
If it’s a new design feature we’re talking about, they have the right to tell me where they want it, but I have enough confidence, and trust my instincts enough to suggest an alternative if necessary.
I am not the “enemy” but, I am definitely someone that knows just enough about design and programming to be dangerous. (Probably more dangerous than most of your clients). So, since I am well established on both sides of the track let’s see if I can shed some light on this subject or, simply invoke a no s#$t comment from everyone here.
A. Bruno Abrantes is Correct. We “civilians” do have a desire to be a designer and master programmer. For many of us we know exactly what we want and, as I am sure you true masters can understand, that we go through many “dangerous designers” before we get close to what we want. These dangerous designers are often very egotistical making “our” dealings tough. See, a business owner that can pay a GREAT designer has an ego himself. Obviously, this business owner is successful in his own right and feels that he has earned the respect in their respective business community so, when the designer shows no respect for his clients wishes or dreams, the relationship is terminated and the next GREAT designer bares the brunt of the business owners frustration.
B. I also think that many designers have been jaded by the business owner that tries to partner up with him/her on the next “GREATEST WEB-SITE EVER” putting the designer in somewhat of a defensive position from the start. For what it is worth, I truly think that there needs to be a self governing standard concerning site developers and this standard should include customer etiquette when a GREAT DESIGNER speaks to a client.
I have always been the guy that CAN design but my programming skills are elementary at best. Do I want to become a programmer?…HELL YES…Do I have the time? Sadly no. I am the guy who has always (since ‘93) secured the deals concerning content and turned a site into money. If any of you know a really cool, easy to learn and follow MySQL/MyPHP vid-torial please let me know at norocks2004 on that there yahoo thing.
I really wish I had more time to let my typing diarrhea continue as this subject is truly dear to my heart. I regularly have to go through the “DANGEROUS” designers to get to the “GOOD ONES “ I have become the proverbial TOAD KISSER.