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Guide: Misconceptions Regarding Web Design Every Client Should Know
All budding web designers are visionaries, idealists of their time, but at some point everyone meets clients who they turn into cynics. This is when they learn that most customers are sure of what they want and that there are certain things they may not fully understand. Are you prepared to face these hurdles?
Here are the 7 Common (and Sometimes Deadly, Sometimes Frustrating) Misconceptions Customers Should Know About Web DesignI have also steps and recorded tips on how to counter and prevent these problems during your customer-freelancer relationship. If you have any stories or advice to share, let us know in the comments.back to menu ↑
1. They think they own you
There are unaware customers who think that just because you have entered into a contract with them, they actually own youBeware of these types of customers! They send you an email every hour asking for revisions and a new design features, and if you don’t answer (because you even need sleep), they get angry and start throwing curses and threats all over the place.
The problem arises when you have not properly explained your work schedule to your client. Think of it this way, if you don’t say you don’t work on weekends, they will automatically assume that you work on weekends, especially if you work freelance (which for many is the opposite of a fixed 9-to-5 work environment).
It’s a technical game: If you haven’t mentioned it, it doesn’t applyback to menu ↑
How to counter this
To prevent this, explain your working hours / schedule to your clientThat way, they don’t expect a response or an update on Saturday night, and if they do, then they are the ones who are unreasonable. If that is possible, have a separate phone for work, something you can turn off when you’re not working because trust me, they’ll call you on a Saturday night to explain a revolutionary idea they just had.
The same goes for emails. If you are not working, check or reply to your work emails. Remember that there will be more where that comes from if you do.back to menu ↑
2. Their website goes viral immediately
A web designer is to some extent responsible for optimizing the layout of the website and making it load quickly, as search engines also rank websites based on loading speed. What is not an exact science is whether the site design is going “viral”. This buzzword has been around for a while and services are running it like a featureIf you are unlucky, you will get one customer who wants everything to be viral
I know this is tempting, especially for beginners looking for a way to break through the big competition. But here’s the kicker, if your client expects you to bring thousands of visitors to their website, don’t say yes unless you canOtherwise, you are actually looking for trouble.back to menu ↑
How to counter this
What you can do is explain to your customers that their website is going viral is another service they search for and then refer them to a service they can use. Believe me, this often happens. Even more so with entrepreneurs who have very little idea of how the internet works (yes, they still exist) take the opportunity to explain how things work, instead of getting frustrated with their expectations.back to menu ↑
3. They know what people want
Animated logo, marquee, tons of pop-ups, auto-play music and many other travesties that were considered cool 20 years ago make today’s web designer piss his pants with fear. And for some reason, people aka customers still ask for these things because to them “this is what people want.” Take a deep breath.
(Image Source: theoatmeal)back to menu ↑
How to counter this
When talking to a client, tell them that you know what you are doing and that you respect their input. But if you believe their suggestions are an insult to the face of a beautiful design, don’t pay attention. This is your duty as a web designer: to never give in to bad ideas and they give birth
A simple statement like, “I’ll take it into account, but based on what users want, this idea might work better. Believe me, I’ve been doing this for a while and I don’t want you to be cornered ”, will work wonders. Okay, maybe you can put it much better, but you get the idea.
For more tips On how to To handle this delicate situation, check out Convincing The Client – How To Win A Design Argument.back to menu ↑
4. ‘The space is bad and always needs to be filled with something’
Everyone needs breathing space. Even websites. Having empty space doesn’t mean the website is rushed or not well thought outIn fact, serious thought has gone into making sure that these “empty” spaces complement the entire website.back to menu ↑
How to counter this
There’s a reason the cluttered, glittering, blinking website designs of the 90s died out. Tastes, needs and demands change over time. Generation gaps even exist online and well, there will always be a transition period in the world of design whether we like it or not.
It just so happens that white space and minimalism are the ‘in’ thing right now (who knows what will happen in a few years), and it’s important that your customer understands that visitors associate website design with how up-Today is their company when it comes to the latest trends.
Better yet, send them this article: Changing the Face of Web Design: A 25-Year Case Studyback to menu ↑
5. Mobile App design and Mobile/ Responsive site design is the same
There is a big difference between having an app for your website and having one mobile or responsive website.
A mobile app or application what you can download from marketplaces such as Google Play or the App Store provided on your mobile appliances. These uses are compact and serve specific purposes, minus the newsletter sign up forms, header, footer, beautiful images and the like.
A mobile website refers to a copy of a website stored in a different folder or subdomain (m.youtube.com), while a responsive website is built to ‘respond’ and change to accommodate the different screen sizes on which you are viewing the site.
Not all are the same: a designer who can build a website doesn’t necessarily need to know how to build an app and vice versa.back to menu ↑
How to counter this
Beware of customers who think that app = web design = what you’re getting paid for; especially if you can’t do them all. You have to clarify this for them with clear examples. You can fall back on an actual responsive site, a mobile site and an app that all belong to the same company or brand. It gives them a clear idea of what each is and what exactly they want for their purpose. Be patient with this issue they may take a while to come through.back to menu ↑
6. Since you designed their website, you are forever responsible for any redesign
Have you heard of animal imprinting? It’s when an animal being born sees people nearby (or moves something) and then follows it devotedly, thinking they are the parents. Well, in the design, some customers have this tendency to depend on you for redesigns and everything else after a project is completed.
It starts as a small thingsuch as a font change or a background color change, and since you didn’t bill them for the changes, they expect any other change request to be covered by after-sales service afterward. And their requests keep coming, in batches, non-stop, until you have to wave your white flag.back to menu ↑
How to counter this
If you’re not in the habit of using a freelancing contract, you may need to start using one. And if you do, make sure that the “grace period” clause is clearly explained to your customers before the work begins. I usually give to my clients 48 hours to them revision requests and then 24 hours for minor changes they need.
If you’re working on a much larger project, give them a longer “test” period to go through the design. The idea is to let them know that if you need changes, you have the following [pre-determined period of time] to tell me to fix it for free. Beyond that, you are either on your own or charged for change requests.back to menu ↑
7. They think they can cancel a project at any time and you won’t receive anything
This is another reason why you should work with a contract. Clients are people, and some of them are very fickle. They can tell you they want this project done when, you can start when, then disappear for weeks on end, only to come back and tell you they changed their mind, they don’t want to continue with the project, and voila, that they have disappeared from the face of the earth.back to menu ↑
How to counter this
Yes, it’s frustrating, but don’t expect to be paid for the work you’ve already put into the project unless you ask for a deposit up front. While it would be easier to ask for an initial deposit if you have a reputation that precedes you, it is nowadays common to ask for start-up costs before starting work.
In many cases, it prevents the client from leaving you halfway through because they have made a financial commitment to the client-freelancer relationship. You can also charge them a predetermined cancellation fee if the project is very large. This reduces the loss of man hours spent on a finished project up canceled through no fault of your own.back to menu ↑
Despite all the suggestions above to counter the 7 misconceptions or problems that clients have about web design, sometimes being so blunt doesn’t help. You may have to resort to hinting or dropping things casually in normal conversationsDon’t expect your customers to know most of these things, but you don’t want to offend them if they don’t.
For the more important things, keep a black and white copy of the communication: emails, skype conversation, text messages so that you have proof that you informed them in advance of what is involved.
Also, never sign a contract without fully explaining things to a new customer. Contracts are designed to protect your rights, and those of your client. At the end of the day, it’s money for exchanging services, and both parties should walk away from the transaction, happy with what happened during the completion of the projectAnd who knows, they may come back to you with more projects.back to menu ↑
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