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  1. #1
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    The dreaded "Ill get my friends to take a look"

    I recently sent off a proposed design to a client and talked him through it to justify why I put things in certain places as to avoid them making unneccessary little changes. He loved the design, it seemed to be exactly what he wanted.
    However, he then threw in a "let me show it to my mates first to see what they think".
    I knew this was going to hurt me so I tried to stop him by saying things such as "keep in mind, everyone has different ideas of design so something you like wont neccessarily be something they like". I couldnt stop him.

    I designed the website for him, not his friends and I have a feeling that they will want to make changes.
    Is there any way to stop this? could I, and do you put a clause in your contract saying that the client is the only one that can approve it/view it? or should I just suck it up and deal with it?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict liquidautumn's Avatar
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    Just ask why don't he hired his friends to make this job, if he think they are more competent in this area than you are.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict jessebhunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liquidautumn
    Just ask why don't he hired his friends to make this job, if he think they are more competent in this area than you are.
    I'd say that this is a bad idea! You don't want to piss your customer off.

    Perhaps, you'll be surprised and the friends will like the design. If they don't you may have to re-explain to the customer why your design makes sense. If he still wants revisions, you may have to reach some comprimise between your ideas and theirs.

    This is something that I occasionally encounter, although it's never become a very big issue.

    I don't think, however, that it's a good idea to "put a clause in your contract saying that the client is the only one that can approve it/view it."
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  4. #4
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    beley's Avatar
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    Well, you're going to have to get used to clients showing the design around. That's just life. Most of my clients have teams that are working on the website and 3-5 people look at it. They all have completely different opinions. You can setup clauses that only allow one person to sign off on a design, but you can't control who looks at and comments on it.

    If they make valid comments on the design - good. If their comments or suggestions aren't the best - try to explain why. I hope you have a procedure for changes in place so they can't keep coming back with more and more.

    I personally give 2-3 designs. The client has up to 2 major revisions and can use up to 3 minor revisions (but they count as one major). A major revision is changing 30% or more of the layout at a time. After the 2 major revisions, they pay for any changes to the layout. If they want to change a lot, it's going to cost them.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryceW
    ...talked him through it to justify why I put things in certain places as to avoid them making unneccessary little changes.
    Quote Originally Posted by BryceW
    I designed the website for him, not his friends and I have a feeling that they will want to make changes.
    Is there any way to stop this?
    Quote Originally Posted by BryceW
    I knew this was going to hurt me so I tried to stop him by saying things such as "keep in mind, everyone has different ideas of design so something you like wont neccessarily be something they like". I couldnt stop him.
    I've bolded your comments to make a point. It seems like you're trying awfully hard to control your client's behavior. You're continually trying to "stop" him from doing something that he feels is in his best interest. That's never a good idea, in sales or in life. Think about controlling the process rather than the person. Your client may show the design to all of his friends and relatives, want to meet with you to discuss every single minor change, and take 6 months to get you any content. So what provisions can you put into place to prevent you from making endless revisions, contantly running to meetings, and having a project drag on without end?

  6. #6
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    Well, I do have a contract with him that is mostly solid, however I didnt mention the amount of revisions in it (my fault). When he said that I could see things were starting to drift way from me and it could go anywhere, but your right johntabita, I should have controlled the process rather than the person.

    Oh well, a revisions provision is now in my contracts to help me with future clients, I'll just have to chalk this one up to experience. Who knows, the clients friends may love the design and revisions will hopefully be minimal.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryceW
    Who knows, the clients friends may love the design and revisions will hopefully be minimal.
    Yup - have some faith in yourself. You may be preempting a disaster that is never going to happen.

  8. #8
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    You are the designer, you know what your capabilities are and you are confident in your decision-making when it comes to client requirements.

    All you have to do is answer any queries or suggestions that arise with that same confidence and conviction, ensuring your client recognises that you are indeed the expert and not his friends or associates.

    We all have to do it - back up our reasoning for a design, application or decision - oh! and of course our mistakes.

    You'll be fine.


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