Web Designers: Is Your Client Always Right?

Web designers

Not sure? Take this short quiz.

1) A client shows his expertise in web design by:

A) Providing useless second-guessing.
B) Making references to what his spouse might think.
C) Being able to create your likeness on a spreadsheet using a Sharpie and some old pipe cleaners.
D) Listening to your ideas because that’s why he hired you in the first place.

ANSWER: D of course, but that usually only happens in an ideal world where dogs and cats walk hand-in-hand sharing ice cream.

2) How do you reply if your client looks over your shoulder and says, “I use to dabble a bit in art!”?

A) Look up in pure awe and admiration, vigorously shaking his hand while saying, “Thank you! Thank you for any valuable assistance you can offer!”
B) Say, “That’s great, I use to dabble in [insert client’s industry here]!”
C) Give a hearty high-five and let them have a whirl at the controls as you go outside and sip chocolate milk.
D) Smile and shift uncomfortably.

ANSWER: Ideally B, depending whether you want to keep the job. For that reason, D is usually the outcome.

3) If a client is smart enough to run a business they should also be smart enough to know what they want from their web designer.

A) True. You are merely their trained little chimp on a string ready to dance for the organ grinder. Dance, little monkey, dance!
B) False. They also might be smart enough to do a number of other vastly different vocations, but they need the education, skill and experience to actually pull it off.
C) Absolutely. Most likely your client could take up chainsaw juggling simply by reading a book on chainsaw juggling.
D) All of the above, except for D.

ANSWER: B. Don’t you wish you were able to chant this mantra when needed?

4) Though the client wants the best website possible, once you give the costs they should:

A) Give you a wink and firm slap on the back then say, “Go to it, Sport!”
B) Ask you to scale back. What — do you think his company is made of unlimited money!?
C) Negotiate with him further and say you’ll work for a fraction of your rate in order to see through his vision.
D) Mention that the best idea would be to design the home page in Photoshop. High-five and take a coffee break.

ANSWER: A, but that’s when hell freezes over and the undead are walking the earth.

5) If the client can’t articulate a single desired user goal, a business strategy, or a reason for the site’s existence, you should feel confident when they:

A) Design their very own heavily detailed wireframes.
B) Insist that a flash intro would be really “cool,” and there’s no need for a pesky Skip Intro button.
C) Put on a crown and proclaim “I’m Emperor of the Web!”
D) Wet themselves.
E) All of the above.

ANSWER: E, because all of the responses are equally crazy.

6) If the client wants to spend several hours a day talking about the progress of the their web site, but only wants to be billed for hours spent coding, you should:

A) Sacrifice a portion of your salary because you found their words so awe-inspiring that it has fired a passion in you that you never thought you had.
B) Cry because you’ve been duped.
C) Treat yourself to a chocolate milkshake and the blessed knowledge you have a new, special friend.
D) Both C & D.

ANSWER: D. You should always work out your billing terms beforehand. Now go enjoy that chocolate milkshake!

7) The client comes to you on referral and immediately discloses that the project has “gone off the rails” because somebody got in “over their head.” He asks you to rescue his project. You should:

A) Feel complimented that you are the go-to-person whenever trouble-is-a-brewing.
B) Run for the hills because apparently someone has burned through most of the budget.
C) Treat yourself to a hot fudge sundae, and buy a big fur hat and walking stick.
D) Neither A or B.

ANSWER: B. But most likely you’ll take the gig because you need the money.

8 ) What do you tell a client if they want “fanciful fonts” — lots of them?

A) Squeal with delight because fanciful fonts are your specialty.
B) Say that’s great because the content should always come secondary.
C) Advise to go with Script fonts because they are really easy to read.
D) Tell them about the rule of 3’s, where two fonts are good, but anything beyond that is distracting.

ANSWER: D. Oh yes, the all-important rule of 3’s should trump anyone’s love for numerous different fonts.

9) If the client wants looping background music, you should:

A) Agree, because that never gets annoying.
B) Suggest that the audio file be really loud so that coworkers can share in the musical fun.
C) Do it only if it is not permitted to have a mute button.
D) Suggest when it comes to audio files let the user be in control.

ANSWER: D. Don’t jam the music into the user’s face. Or if it’s going to be looping background music, make sure it’s “Pop Goes the Weasel.”

One response to “Web Designers: Is Your Client Always Right?”

  1. Kristen says:

    Nice! Unfortunately, the client’s usually just getting in the way of a successful website. Not that I’d even suggest that. :)

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