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  1. #1
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    client as art director... YIKES! He wants 3D buttons.

    I have a brand new client who just filled me in on what he "likes" and wants to see on his site...

    He wants 3D buttons.

    He's a computer networking company and has a logo that has an outline of an 1980's computer, and refuses to change it. The logo's type is Helvetica. And he thinks it's hot stuff. And, he wants big 3D buttons on his site.

    I'm supposed to be taking this site and updating the entire look to make it contemporary.

    He wants 3D buttons.

    Could anyone offer any sites I can take a look at to see some examples of 3D buttons that look halfway decent? I'm sorry I just have a thing against big buttons on a site and it's me and I don't mean to offend. I was just planning on giving him a pretty slick looking sophisticated Flash site and he wants his damn big 3D shadowy buttons. :-(

    Jackie

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast terraglo's Avatar
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    have you ever refused work because it goes against your design principals? I have on several occassions, and I'm glad I did, not all clients are good clients and some just arent worth bothering with at all.... but thats just my opinion

  3. #3
    Non-Member Jinx's Avatar
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    I would just make it the way he wants. If it'll make me money and they are happy with the final product then what's the problem? IMHO Isn't the point to make the customer/client happy? From what it sounds like thier current site is really horrable, so any improvement that you make is a plus. :P

  4. #4
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    Tell him the 3d buttons will cost him an extra 700$, and see how he reacts

  5. #5
    Non-Member Jinx's Avatar
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    lol, excuse = it will cause you mental stress that you'll need to recover from.

  6. #6
    + platinum's Avatar
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    If he's paying you good money, as the nike ad goes, "just do it"

    I can just imagine what he wants... lol, why not show him some of the 'competition' sites, and let him know (nicely) that the site will look really dated and old if you build it that way

    Of couse if you're not getting paid much to do it, tell him straight out it would be a bad idea and whatever else you might think of at the time

    I hate these people that try and do your job for you, heh, alright, they can give it a little direction, but afterall, your the experienced developer, imagine if you ordered a salad sandwich from your local bakery and stood over the person making it, telling them where to put the lettuce leaves, changing from brown bread to white bread when he's 90% finished and then deciding that you'd rather have a double meat and cheese sandwich and telling them it wouldn't be too much trouble to change would it? and after he's finished, constantly pestering them for salt, pepper, sauce, etc throughout the whole week

  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot slandry's Avatar
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    RU Crazy?!

    I've had the opportunity to work with several difficult clients.

    "...because it goes against your design principals?"

    I've got news for you. Unless what the client proposes is morally suspect, you do the work. Or you are in the wrong line of business.

    In my free time I paint, sculpt, and draw. This is when all the decisons are up to me. When you are on a contract the client pays the bills, he/she makes the decisions. End of story. Sure offer suggestions when asked or even subtly interject but never refuse the work because you don't like the design. You always have the option to leave it out of your portfolio.


    Usually the way these play out is the client sees the creation and comes around. More time. More money.

    BTW, if anyone out there is looking to refuse work for this reason, send them my way.

  8. #8
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    Just do the job but don't include your company name on the site anywhere (ie "designed by") and don't use it in your portfolio ... that way you get the cash but you won't be embarrassed ... but you could always mention it in the circumstance you need to explain to someone how you solved a difficult "conflict of opinion" problem.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast terraglo's Avatar
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    Re: RU Crazy?!

    Originally posted by slandry
    I've got news for you. Unless what the client proposes is morally suspect, you do the work. Or you are in the wrong line of business.
    Thanks for that piece of news, I'll start writing my CV....not. Heres how it works, somebody employs me as a designer to do a design for them, so I do the design, get it? Nows heres is the important part, before that somebody employs me I get a design brief! If the brief contains anything that makes me feel uncomfortable then I will approach that somebody and advise them of this and offer alternatives. If that somebody is worth working for then they will know when it is time to listen, and most do. Otherwise if no comprimise can be reached then it is time to offer the work to a design slut who'll do anything for money , and by the looks of this thread theres more about then ever!

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    I think it depends on what you mean by "3d buttons". Just saying those words doesn't automatically tell me that it's going to look dated.

    For example, www.Apple.com . I would say that those buttons look 3d. The Aqua interface in OSX looks 3d and that's pretty nice.

    As a designer it's your job to take your clients wants and create a product that has your "stamp" on it. If the client is immovable in certain areas then you've got a choice. You can say "I'm sorry, I can't work with you any longer" and quit the job, or you can take the money, give the client exactly what they want and make sure your name is nowhere near the final product. There's plenty of designers that do that.

    Bear in mind that just because you're the "designer" doesn't mean that you are always right. You can't just throw out some ideas and expect them to be the answer every time. You have to take their ideas and their expertise in their area as well.
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  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    Otherwise if no comprimise can be reached then it is time to offer the work to a design slut who'll do anything for money , and by the looks of this thread theres more about then ever!
    If I understand the term correctly, a "slut" would be someone who comprises a moral or ethical standard for his or her own gain.

    How did design ever become an ethical issue? It would be more unethical to not give the client what he is paying for.

    I'm not saying that you shouldn't stand up for your design decisions and advise the client against requesting bad ones. But what you term as being a "design slut," others here would define as being a professional.

  12. #12
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    Any reputable "service provider" will usually make the best recommendations possible for a client based on their training, experience, the current/projected market, etc ... however, like the old adage says, "the customer is always right" ... as long as the client isn't trying to do anything illegal, defamatory, etc I feel you aren't being a "design slut", just an honest business person trying to make the best go of it in a tough marketplace.
    Last edited by tdev; Sep 17, 2002 at 13:51.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast terraglo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by johntabita
    How did design ever become an ethical issue? It would be more unethical to not give the client what he is paying for.
    hmmm you aren't really that naive are you? actually just forget that last remark, just do the job and get paid

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    Originally posted by terraglo
    hmmm you aren't really that naive are you?
    Do you actually want to engage in a discussion and answer my question, or just make inflammatory remarks?

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast terraglo's Avatar
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    hey calm down m8, it was late and I didnt mean to offend. Okay first off I would like to state the following:

    1) I personally have no problems with 3D buttons whether they are big or small, if used correctly it shouldnt matter.

    2) I used the phrase "design slut" very loosly and again did not mean to offend.

    Now then:
    Design has and always will have strong ethical and moral issues attached to it. This relates to design in general as well as "web design". Giving the customer what he/she wants or what he/she wants to make him/her happy is unethical IF the designer knows that it is not in the best interests of the customer to do so (again this does not really relate to 3D buttons ). A very simple explanation me thinks.

    Now if that designer makes the customer aware that it is not in his/her best interests BUT the customer insists then it is down to the designer to decide (the morals bit) whether or not he/she should do so.

    I have quite strong morals (u might have guessed) when it comes to design, basically I will not produce any work that I am not proud to be associated with. If I lose work because of it then so be it, there's plenty more out there

    PS it was soooo tempting to answer your post with "no & yes", guess my morals got in the way again

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    Design itself has NO moral or ethical issues.

    Serving a customer properly has NOTHING to do with the design you provided them. That's simply good business practice. And yes, not giving them what they paid for IS unethical but the same would hold true for plumbers as well.

    "Choosing" to use a 3d button or not has nothing to do with morals. It has to do with good design principles. Whether the designer can convince the client to use (or not to use) a specific element again, has nothing to do with morals.

    For example, I'm doing a piece for my boss. We have a choice of 6 pictures of one of our salespeople. They're all poor quality digital images. One of them has the best quality of the six, the best tonal values (what little there is) and the best lighting. The problem is that according to my boss "it's not as inviting" as the other picture, meaning the the smile on the salespersons face is not as broad.

    Now, the one they DID choose is terrible from a design perspective. There was strong sunlight shining down on the salesperson's face which put large portions of her face in bright light and the other portions in dark shadow. I've tried telling my boss that this is NOT the image they should choose as representative of our company. Did they listen? Nope. So what do I do? Use the picture.

    It has nothing to do with ethics, morals or whatever. It's called doing my job.
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    terraglo,

    Perhaps we both have a different definition of "morals." What you are calling morals I would call standards you've set for yourself that you're not willing to comprise on (i.e., "I will not produce any work that I am not proud to be associated with").

    I would call morals an objective standard of behavior that should apply to everyone. For example, cheating a customer is always wrong for everyone under any circumstances, because it harms another person in an objective way.

    You cannot apply that to your example, because design is subjective: what one person likes, another one hates. And bad design doesn't harm anyone.

    Originally quoted by terraglo

    Giving the customer what he/she wants or what he/she wants to make him/her happy is unethical IF the designer knows that it is not in the best interests of the customer to do so
    Are you really 100% sure that what you know is "in the best interests of the customer"? That would require you to know every aspect of their business, much like a consultant, not merely a designer.

    Creole's example makes a good point:

    Originally quoted by creole
    Now, the one they DID choose is terrible from a design perspective.
    "From a design perspective," Creole obviously felt that his choice of photos was best. Can you honestly say that it was? (Please don't take offence, Creole, I'm just using this to make my point...).

    From a sales and marketing perspective, his boss felt that the more inviting photo was better. His boss probly was thinking: Would a potential customer be more likely to say, "Look at the lousy lighting in those photos; I'd never buy from this company..." or [I]"Those salespeople don't look very friendly, I think I'll buy somewhere else."[I]?

  18. #18
    SitePoint Co-founder Matt Mickiewicz's Avatar
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    Hopefully this guy hired you for your expertise and advice... I wouldnt hire a lawyer and then tell him what to do.
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  19. #19
    Yugo full of anvils bronze trophy hillsy's Avatar
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    The difference is that not everyone thinks they can be a lawyer. However my experience is that most people have fairly strong opinions about what they want/like on a website.

    I have told lawyers what to do (i.e. what I want done) in the past. Then I leave them to do it. Seems like a good analogy. The experts can give advice and you can - and should - listen to it, but at the end of the day you (the client) pay the bills.
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  20. #20
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    Image you order a burger at Hungry Jacks(FINE! Burger King) and you order it with no lettace.

    Mmm... Burger - be with you in a moment guys...

    Isn't that sort of what this guys doing? He's just ordering the non-lettace-endowed burger, with lettace(or pickles as the case may be, =\)

    Do the job, do it like a professional. As they say, the customer is ALWAYS right.


    But that'd just be MY opinion.
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  21. #21
    Blissed off
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    Originally posted by creole


    Now, the one they DID choose is terrible from a design perspective. There was strong sunlight shining down on the salesperson's face which put large portions of her face in bright light and the other portions in dark shadow. I've tried telling my boss that this is NOT the image they should choose as representative of our company. Did they listen? Nope. So what do I do? Use the picture.

    It has nothing to do with ethics, morals or whatever. It's called doing my job.
    LOL, I put up with this all the time. I do a lot of in-house work on brochures, etc. and I often get overruled on what I think it best. But hey, they're paying my salary so I'll give them what they want. No use taking it personal on my part...
    Last edited by wert; Sep 20, 2002 at 11:16.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Guru moonman's Avatar
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    I'm on the customer is right side of the argument. He's paying you to do the design, yes, but to his specifications.


    I've had this problem before. I built a website for an entertainment venue, and the guys taset was so stuck in the 1980's, he should've dressed like the guys from Miami Vice. I didn't like his ideas, he didn't like mine, but it's his site, so I did it his way. I'll never use it in my portfolio, and I don't put my company name on it. But I do spend the money he paid me

  23. #23
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    in an ideal world, the client and the designer will enter a relationship in which they both value each other's opinions and work together towards finding an appropriate solution (both technically and aesthetically) to the client's specific needs. when this happens, it can be a rewarding (not just financially) and interesting experience.
    in many cases however, the client sees the (web) designer more like a "bricklayer" (or some other form of manual labourer) whose task is to realise what he/she have in mind (as cliched as it may be).
    i'm in the fortunate position of having a stable day job and only doing freelance web design on the side, for the fun of it rather than just to put food on the table. this way, i can pick and choose which projects to take on. if i "click" with the potential client, it's usually a good sign. i've stopped doing the "difficult" cases, as in the end the money was never enough to compensate for the hours and hours of "extra fiddling" that the clients always wanted...("yes, looks great. now, can you just change the entire look to something more like this instead ? surely that won't take long...")
    i think the whole "ethics" issue is more one of personal pride (and i don't mean this in a bad way): you want to do a job, and do it to the best of your abilities, possibly even learning and evolving *through* doing the job (exploring a new style, for instance).
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  24. #24
    SitePoint Zealot slandry's Avatar
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    "There is only one boss. The customer.
    He can fire everyone from the chairman down by simply spending his money elsewhere."

  25. #25
    SitePoint Evangelist Mr. Brownstone's Avatar
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    Not all 3D button-styles are terrible, but you obviously have more of an idea of what your client wants than we do.

    If the design is really that bad, I would personally have no problem telling him that his idea sucks. As long as you have a suitably verbose explanation of “why it sucks” everything will be peachy.

    -“The 3D button-styles you have pointed out disobey at least two Gestalt Laws of Perceptual Organisation—connectivity and similarity—thus interrupting flow and ultimately affecting the usability and perceived user-friendlyness of your site.”

    -“Research in the field of the illuminated matrix display medium show significant benefits to usability and perceived user-friendlyness when using flat, and/or colour oriented design approaches—rather than a three-dimensional look—and serve far better to stimulate visual retention, and consequently site-stickyness.”

    Completely over-the-top and bordering on total-********, but you get the idea: befuddle your client with techo-babble and as long as you can back-up everything you say with yet more techo-babble he’s putty in your hands. “Wow! He must really know what he’s talking about!” will undoubtably be the foremost thought of any prospective client when you serve them such an extra-large helping of bovine **** effluence as you can possibly deliver. Perhaps throw in something to do with “enhancing your corporate-Internet identity” too, although I’m afraid I came to a loose end when trying to fit this in with my examples above (it’s a bit wordy, like this post).

    And don’t forget it’s always useful to have a last resort:

    -“Google does not index sites with 3D buttons.”

    Or you can just ignore all that and do as you’re told.
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


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