Author Topic: Client's wants vs. Good Design  (Read 734 times)

Offline Angry Ewok

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Client's wants vs. Good Design
« on: April 8, 2008, 02:54 PM »
How do you tell a client that his/her ideas are terrible?

I've been working on a web layout... the client is absolutely pleased, but at the same time, is having me make frequent adjustments that are gradually becoming more and more tacky. I have tried to strike compromises for the sake of the integrity of the design and the overall appearance of his business, but the results are mixed.

Offline Master_Phruby

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Re: Client's wants vs. Good Design
« Reply #1 on: April 8, 2008, 03:53 PM »
At least you are given a spec. When I have to design something new, I usually get a spec that is so half assed and incomplete that it's next to impossible to come up with the right process. I hate the "We'll know it when we see it" approach to programming. I guess my ability to come up with something better than the spec and fill the holes is what separates my work from crappy outsourced India programming.
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Offline Rob

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Re: Client's wants vs. Good Design
« Reply #2 on: April 8, 2008, 05:07 PM »
How do you tell a client that his/her ideas are terrible?

I've been working on a web layout... the client is absolutely pleased, but at the same time, is having me make frequent adjustments that are gradually becoming more and more tacky. I have tried to strike compromises for the sake of the integrity of the design and the overall appearance of his business, but the results are mixed.


That's a constant struggle for us here at work... I think at the end of the day we try to just suggest things that we think are cooler, without shooting down their terrible ideas and styles. 

Sometimes you just have to say what's on your mind though.

And sometimes you just have to crank out crap and collect your check.

Offline Nicklab

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Re: Client's wants vs. Good Design
« Reply #3 on: April 8, 2008, 05:21 PM »
This is something that I think you're always going to run up against when you have to come up with something creative for a client.  I run into this sometimes when I'm producing a record for an artist.  If they're funding their own project, which means they're the ones paying me, I need to take that into consideration.

You get more leeway in dealing with a client if it's your own business.  But if you're working for a business owner on a client's project, it's more complicated.  Sometimes you do just have to shut up and collect a check.  If the reputation of your own business is at stake, maybe you can take a stand on what kind of work you'll do, and what you won't.

As for web design?  It's not my field.  But if it were, I would make a point of showing clients some successful sites, and what it is that makes them great.  School them on the features so that they're at least educated on the process.  And if they still want crap...then they want crap.
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Offline BillCable

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Re: Client's wants vs. Good Design
« Reply #4 on: April 8, 2008, 07:37 PM »
My shame:  http://www.theusedcarfactory.com/

I designed that site EXACTLY like the guy wanted back in 1998.  They've made some changes (mostly for the worse), but it's still essentially just how I delivered it back then.  The facts that it hasn't changed at all and that he still keeps it updated at least prove he was happy with the results.
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Offline name

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Re: Client's wants vs. Good Design
« Reply #5 on: April 9, 2008, 12:43 AM »
classy.
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Offline Master_Phruby

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Re: Client's wants vs. Good Design
« Reply #6 on: April 9, 2008, 10:08 AM »
My shame:  http://www.theusedcarfactory.com/

I designed that site EXACTLY like the guy wanted back in 1998.  They've made some changes (mostly for the worse), but it's still essentially just how I delivered it back then.  The facts that it hasn't changed at all and that he still keeps it updated at least prove he was happy with the results.

The guy says he's got 42 years in the business. What did he start selling cars when he was five? He doesn't look that old.
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Offline BillCable

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Re: Client's wants vs. Good Design
« Reply #7 on: April 9, 2008, 10:35 AM »
That's the same photo I put up there 10 years ago, and I don't think it was all that new even back then.   ;)
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Offline ruiner

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Re: Client's wants vs. Good Design
« Reply #8 on: April 9, 2008, 10:37 AM »
Reminds me of Creature Cantina.


Offline jedi_master_sal

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Re: Client's wants vs. Good Design
« Reply #9 on: April 9, 2008, 02:25 PM »
Reminds me of Creature Cantina.

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Offline jedi_master_sal

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Re: Client's wants vs. Good Design
« Reply #10 on: April 9, 2008, 02:27 PM »
How do you tell a client that his/her ideas are terrible?

I've been working on a web layout... the client is absolutely pleased, but at the same time, is having me make frequent adjustments that are gradually becoming more and more tacky. I have tried to strike compromises for the sake of the integrity of the design and the overall appearance of his business, but the results are mixed.


That's a constant struggle for us here at work... I think at the end of the day we try to just suggest things that we think are cooler, without shooting down their terrible ideas and styles. 

Sometimes you just have to say what's on your mind though.

And sometimes you just have to crank out crap and collect your check.

Man, I agree with you completely. I hate putting out crap work that the client has either produced or had so much input on that it becomes amateurish in design. But you have to bite your tongue sometimes. Afterall, if they like it and you get paid, well sometimes that must be what counts. Just do go putting your name to the bad design or entering it into any awards program.
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Offline Angry Ewok

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Re: Client's wants vs. Good Design
« Reply #11 on: April 9, 2008, 08:45 PM »
Yeah, that's the thing that's been bugging me... I want to be able to attach my name to it, but I think I'll end up having to add the "suggested" design to my portfolio, instead of the REDUX per client's modifications.

Offline speedermike

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Re: Client's wants vs. Good Design
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2008, 10:06 AM »
As a long time illustrator, I've faced this as well.  I've found that when showing a client what they asked for, and something that you feel is better, many times they will see your point.  You must actually let them see why your idea is stronger.  Many people don't have the strong ability to visualize something , so it's better when they see it. It is more work to get two sketches done, but in the end, the portfolio is stronger.

Here's a great article on how to deal with clients...
http://www.ideasonideas.com/2007/10/disarm-10-difficult-requests/
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 10:18 AM by speedermike »
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