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  1. #1
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    how to handle when client does not like the job

    I could not find a better title at this time for this

    Suppose this situation: a client ask you to design a site. You make a design sample, He said that what you've done is ok but He was looking for something different. You do another design, and get the same answer for him.

    How do you handle this situation? Do you charge before starting the job 50% of the budget and go on designing until the client is satisfied? How many times you redo the design prototype? How do you charge this?

    Any experiences or suggestions?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    There's a few points here, others will probably find some more but here's my thoughts.

    How much pre-information did you get about the style of design they wanted beforehand? If you have nothing to work with you're pretty much working in the dark. Getting some ideas upfront about colours, the purpose of the site, what sort of information/content it will have etc is vital in coming up with a design concept - if you have these you can usually be near the mark first off.

    Normally web designers will include x number of template ideas with y number of versions in the contacted price. Anything after that is usually a chargable extra.

    Some clients are never happy, you can come up with some killer designs but no matter what you do they will never be happy. Quite often backing up your ideas with valid reason for why you've done things a certain way can convince them to accept your ideas.

    At the end of the day you're the designer, the chances are your client is not so it's up to you to sell your ideas to them.

  3. #3
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    Hi bluedreamer, thank you

    Personally I tried to get as much information as I can asking the client (sometimes I also include small surveys)

    I refer to those "special" clients that are never satisfied.

    Normally web designers will include x number of template ideas with y number of versions in the contacted price. Anything after that is usually a chargable extra.
    This is a good idea, I've never set a limit before from the beginning and I think I'll include it in future contracts.

    Thank you

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    No problem, we all get awkward clients so you're not alone.

    Only last week I created a nice mockup for a site, all highly focussed on the right things, and then he decides he wants it simple and plain with square coloured boxes with absolutely no customer orientated features whatsoever! Sometimes you can't win, he's paying me well so if that's what he wants...

  5. #5
    I hate Spammers mobyme's Avatar
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    Hmmm difficult. One of the problems with this is some clients expect you to carry on designing ad infinitum. What I tend to do in this situation is ask the client how they envisage the site looking and then write or email them confirming their design requirements. When I resubmit my design it is accompanied with a copy of the letter or mail with the requirements ticked off. To be honest it has only happened to us twice and both clients accepted the resubmitted designs after following this procedure.
    There are three kinds of men:
    The ones that learn by reading.
    The few who learn by observation.
    The rest of us have to pee on the electric fence.

  6. #6
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    beley's Avatar
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    You need to do more work on the front-end to avoid this type of thing. First, you should ask lots of questions. Do they have a logo and color scheme that need to be matched? What sites in their industry do they like? Dislike? How do they want to present their business -- modern? Traditional? Old time values? Who are their clients or customers -- grandmas or teenagers?

    There are a lot more... we have a big questionnaire we go on when asking these questions. We typically don't hand the client the questionnaire anymore but sometimes do. Point is we get a lot of information BEFORE doing a single design. Then we do a round table and brainstorm ideas. We might do a few sketches, throw around the ideas, then mull on it for a few days.

    We try very hard the first time to get it right... and very few times do we completely miss the mark. We often come back and make small changes here and there, but that's it.

    When the client doesn't like something, you need to know why. What is it about the layout they didn't like? Colors? Navigation? Photo?

    If your client gives you little direction, either before or during development, you have a problem. You can't design the site without their input. That said, you can often avoid those types of clients anyway by starting off by asking all the questions up front. The ones that keep saying "I dont know" don't ever become clients!

    We used to put that we did X mockups and XX revisions but lately we've just been designing one comp. 90%+ of the time it's spot on. The few times it wasn't, we missed the mark because we didn't ask the right questions or listen to what the client was saying.

  7. #7
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    Thank you for the tips

  8. #8
    SitePoint Evangelist Unit7285's Avatar
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    How you present your design to a client can also have an effect on how they respond to it.

    If you just email them a jpg or give them the url and let them take a look by themselves there's a certain amount of risk they'll find all sorts of things they'd like to change - some sensible, some not so sensible and some just plain stupid. Some people can't keep their hands off anything and will want to make changes just for the sake of it. Others will wave it through unchanged.

    You can avoid much of this 'fiddling' with your lovely design simply by presenting the design to them personally (by phone or in person). Make sure that the first time they see it is when you are talking them through it and explaining every aspect of the design - why you chose these colours, why that element is there, why the navigation is ideal for this design, how the design evolved from initial sketches and wireframes to this superb solution, how it precisely achieves the website's objectives, etc.

    They may still want changes, but at least they will be carefully considered changes and not silly 'make the logo spin' type requests.


    Paul

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unit7285 View Post
    How you present your design to a client can also have an effect on how they respond to it.

    If you just email them a jpg or give them the url and let them take a look by themselves there's a certain amount of risk they'll find all sorts of things they'd like to change - some sensible, some not so sensible and some just plain stupid. Some people can't keep their hands off anything and will want to make changes just for the sake of it. Others will wave it through unchanged.

    You can avoid much of this 'fiddling' with your lovely design simply by presenting the design to them personally (by phone or in person). Make sure that the first time they see it is when you are talking them through it and explaining every aspect of the design - why you chose these colours, why that element is there, why the navigation is ideal for this design, how the design evolved from initial sketches and wireframes to this superb solution, how it precisely achieves the website's objectives, etc.

    They may still want changes, but at least they will be carefully considered changes and not silly 'make the logo spin' type requests.


    Paul
    Very good advice, thank you

  10. #10
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Its amazing just how many clients say "yeah that'll do" when looking at the initial mockup only then to say "Im not sure I like it" once the site is launched.

    RJ


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