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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict wibble wobble's Avatar
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    Exclamation How to threaten to quit 'properly'

    Hi,

    I'm currently involved in a project aiming to launch our website within the next week. There are about 20 people working on it, but I'm the only web developer. But thats fine with me.

    The problem is the designer. I mean... this guy is a total facepalm. I went to see his design (on a Friday night when the rest of my flat was having a party!) and it was an absolute joke. And I told him so. Now, a week later, he has another design which I've just saw and it's appalling (I had two other people give me their opinions just to be sure I wasnt crazy).

    I dont know why, but the website owner doesnt seem to care or notice how bad it is. I tried telling him to get a new designer (even recommended 99designs.com) but that suggestion got completely ignored.

    Now I'm at the stage of either the designer quits/gets the boot, or I leave. Simple as that, no other way about it. How should I approach the website/business owner? Has anyone threatened to do the same before, and did it work or not?

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Actually, I'm not one much for ultimatums. If you proposed that to me, I'd show you the door. So if you threaten, be ready to make good on your threat. Moreover, if the design isn't part of your job, it really isn't important how horrible it is. What is important is that the domain owner is happy with the overall package. If you have concrete reasons as to why the design will interfere with the web development, let the domain owner know those reasons and then either be satisfied with his/her final decision or find another project.
    Linda Jenkinson
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  3. #3
    reads the ********* Crier silver trophybronze trophy longneck's Avatar
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    from the small amount of information you've provided, it doesn't sound like a situation worth leaving your job over. it seems clear that you're responsible for the application, and the designer is responsible for the appearance. if the design is ugly, then why is that a problem for you?

    if your boss can't understand that distinction, i could see where you might be worried. but at least from what you've written here, you haven't convinced me that you should quit over this.
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  4. #4
    Django Jedi neron-fx's Avatar
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    I agree with Shyflower and long neck.

    If the design is not your concern then why are you busting your balls about it? Thats not your job!! Its your job to create code that works, works well across all browsers, is accessible, SEO friendly and fast. The fact is you have to suck up your pride sometimes and do what you are being paid to do

    Believe me I know your pain. I currently have to work with a marketing department who dont know their *** from their elbow when it comes to high quality design that is on brand. I have spent the last month or so trying to reach them but to no real success... so I simply said "Sod it!, its not my job and Im not going to loose sleep or my job over this! I am paid to develop web applications not show marketing how to do their jobs properly!"

    Good luck to you
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  5. #5
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    im kind of interested in seeing this design

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict wibble wobble's Avatar
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    Well I made up my mind. If I have to leave, so be it - I'll just have more time to put into university then. If I am kept, that's fine too.

    If anyone is interested, the email I sent to the owner is below:

    I was actually wanting to talk to you about the design.

    I'll be honest:
    - The design is crap.
    - The 'designer' is a moron.
    - I asked you to please find another designer but it hasnt happened.
    Sorry to put it on you like this, but either a new designer gets hired or I will be leaving {site name}. I just dont want to waste my time if the site will never be popular because it looks bad.

    I've commited the last of my changes to the SVN. Let me know if its me or the guy from {place} who leaves. I understand either way.
    Thanks for the replies.
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  7. #7
    I meant that to happen silver trophybronze trophy Raffles's Avatar
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    That is not a very mature-sounding message. Not only are there lots of missing apostrophes, but unless this person is your best mate, the language seems quite inappropriate. I also don't understand why this is a problem for you. It seems like someone else is the owner. If you've done your part of the job to this person's satisfaction, then that's your job done. Never mind what the other people have done, frustrating for you as it might be.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Evangelist ferrari_chris's Avatar
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    I know where you're coming from wibble wobble, and it is a bad situation to be in. And while you don't want to be a part of it (that's fine by the way), it doesn't seem like a good enough reason to leave over.

    If this was a reoccurring situation where the web designs you were building were crap, then maybe as it would then become clear that the business is not very good at what it does. But to up and leave over one bad design and because your opinions weren't listened to?...

    Also, your message could have been worded a lot better. I hope your boss is understanding...

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict wibble wobble's Avatar
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    Well he isnt really my boss. Everyone is working on it for free (although the designer had started talking about money on the first meeting [not making that up] when it was clear everyone was to work for free), so I dont have any obligations really.

    We are all students so everything is quite informal in emails.
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  10. #10
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    I think a lot depends on how much clout you have now. It sounds like your words don't count as much as you would like. I would suggest building your relationships in the company more, and hopefully over time you will get more support for your suggestions from other employees in addition to the boss.

    Also, bear in mind there are lots of sites with really boring designs that make a LOT of money.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Evangelist ferrari_chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wibble wobble View Post
    Well he isnt really my boss. Everyone is working on it for free ... We are all students so everything is quite informal in emails.
    Ahhh. A couple of key points I think we were all missing earlier...

  12. #12
    SitePoint Guru dojo's Avatar
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    WHY is the design crappy? Come to me to tell me my design is crappy and I will kick you. But come to say: the colours don't look too well in combination, the text is hard to read over the background, the text is misaligned etc. and we have something else. I think you need to give a "review" for the "boss" to get your point. Saying the designer is a moron is not too nice either

    Keep us posted and best of luck ...

  13. #13
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    Well, I think it's good that you decide not to affiliate yourself with a project that you thought had no future. If that is your work ethic and your career value, you'll want to keep that for life.

    In the future though, when it's not informal and it's not for free, it'd be good to approach it with more tact.
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  14. #14
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    You've made me very curious about the website. I hope you will post the url when it is launched so we can see what this is all about.

    Apparently someone you know had an idea for a website and convinced about 20 students to build it for free, I guess in exchange for the experience and to have a site to include in a portfolio.

    We are aware of you, the developer, and the moron designer. What are the other 18 people doing? Writing/researching content, manning forums, building product, graphic design, marketing?

    Did you ever all get together and discuss the overall project? Look/feel, color scheme, organization, intended audience, etc. Has there been any coordination or is everyone working on their own piece of the puzzle and no one is paying attention to making it all fit together?

    You never did tell us what you didn't like about the design. Is it simply aesthetics? Just plain ugly? Usability issues? Is it poorly organized? Confusing? Badly coded? Uses tables instead of CSS?

    The designer is at least responsive. He did work up a new design after you complained about the first one. Did you give him any details on why you didn't like the first design. Did the new design give any indication that he had listened to you? How many other people in the group are telling him what to do?

    As for the owner he's getting people to work for free. He is not hiring or firing anyone. It could be this is the only designer he found willing to work for free unless you are willing to take on the design responsibilities. He, after all, does not have a problem with the design.

    You haven't wasted your time. You have gotten experience not only in building the site but in working with other people on a project. You have learned that before you put your work into a project you need some kind of assurance that the design is not going to offend you.

    I agree with the other posts that you need to develop more tact and learn to be more specific and constructive in your criticism. Don't just say the design is crap. Say why it is crap. Don't say the designer is a moron. Say what he has done that has led you to believe he is a moron.

  15. #15
    I'm a college yuppie now! sbdi's Avatar
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    Just say you are quiting. The person in charge either doesnt think you are serious or wont follow through.
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