Do Your Web Design Clients Know You Are The Expert?
As a professional web designer, it is exciting to meet with new clients to discuss website needs and ideas and then bring such ideas to life. Because customers know their business and needs, they must be a crucial part of the website building process. Finding that fine line between a helpful or disruptive client is difficult to learn, as almost any website designer in College Station TX can testify. An unruly or uncooperative client is a designer’s worst nightmare; it cannot be denied that the client is paying for the website design. Yet there is a much bigger issue at hand that must be nipped in the bud before it can escalate.
So here is the customary web design scenario: designer and client meet, goals are established, and the web design firm is clearly the expert in charge of the project. Little by little, the client begins to provide ‘input’ to the design process – just to make the website ‘better.’ The design expert advises against such change – the the customer becomes more insistent that such a change is necessary to make the website ‘pop’ – whatever that means. Ultimately the website designer must make a decision either do what the client demands or do what they know is best in order to achieve what the client wants and needs.
Some clients may back down and let the website designer create the site without constant disruption. This is usually accomplished somewhere between fervent explanations about what is best for the website and reminders about the contract that was signed – the one stating that the customer will not continually request changes throughout the process once it has begun. Despite the fact that they came to a designer because they do not know anything about website design, other customers will continue to make suggestions and requests, basically ignoring what has been explained and agreed with.
Avoiding These Scenarios
The truth is that unless a major problem is discovered during the design phase of a website, well-meaning customers can create havoc because they do not understand that even changing just one color wastes time and has the potential to create other changes, such as a complete color palette.
Avoiding these situations is the only way to control them. Most designers accomplish this by using a contract that clearly states the design plan, the clients needs and wants, what the designer will provide, and specific review points during the project – at which time any new ideas or changes can be discussed. Clients must understand that contracts are legal documents once they have been signed, an agreement that allows a website designer to put forth their best effort so the customer will be satisfied with the end website product.
Releasing A Client
Releasing a client is a rare occurrence, as most designers will find a way to work things out; however, there are times when agreement cannot be reached. If it is apparent that the client is refusing to allow the designer to create the website as the designer sees fit, the job may not be worth the aggravation.
Alternately, if the designer wishes to finish the project but continues to disagree with what the client wants done, a new contract can be drawn up. It would state that the designer is proceeding as requested by the client and that the results of all future client decisions will be the responsibility of the client. This should hopefully any avoid potential legal issues on the part of the website designer.
Business is business – and work must get done. At the same time, a website designer must protect their good name and reputation while trying to please clients at the same time. In order to accomplish both of these goals, it is imperative that clients understand from the beginning that the designer is the expert and acting in that capacity, they know how to build a creative and functional website that will achieve its listed goals.