It’s “okay.” That’s the response I have gotten more times than I care to count from clients over the years for web design. Does anyone else get “it’s okay” or do you get hands clapping? I’m beginning to worry my ability. Sorry for sounding negative but I just have to vent. Been doing this for 10 years…
First up AD, I am glad to see that although you had the wobbles a while ago you havent quit!
I get that quote sometimes, you work your proverbials off on a dogs do-da’s design than looks the BOMB and they say… “it’s OK” or “That’ll do for now”
Yep you want to slap them good and hard but can only smile and say thanks
Thank you spikeZ. It’s discouraging. But I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What I showed my current client is just the first draft of the website.
It’s nowhere near done. I should have just done it in photoshop first and sent him a few comps. But I used a template I (with tables) I designed years ago…
I can’t quite right now. I need to make a living. There must be someway I can bring my skills up to speed. I takes focus.
I came to the conclusion a few years ago that I never give a client a half finished comp or just an image.
Finish the comp and put them as an image into an html page, upload it and direct them too it. That gives them more of a sense of what the final page would look like to an end user.
Doing that gave a lot less negative comments.
AD, you can’t please everyone, OK is much better than “it’s ugly” or “I don’t like it”, what it means is that you probably are getting most of the things right, there’s just a few things you could do to improve it (minor tweaks). People often use OK when they feel it needs something else but feel a bit embarrassed or reluctant to ask. I recommend rather than asking them what they think, asking them what they like and what they don’t (and on the stuff they don’t, how do they feel it could be improved), and if in doubt of their responses, just ask for a review on this place - feedback is what you need, even the negative stuff helps you become a better designer, don’t get discouraged at all, we all go through what you do with clients on a daily basis, it’s just about knowing how to deal with it!
Clients simply aren’t helpful a lot of the time.
I’ve had “it needs to be more interesting” then I ask how should I go about doing that, then he says he’ll do it himself.
One time a client said to me that a site needed to be “more edgier.”
Later in that same project I implemented a page design that they approved and they responded, “No. We want our site to be modern. Please fix this. It’s what we’re paying you for!”
Apparently by “modern” and “more edgier” they meant multicolor gradients, drop shadows, and lens flares galore.
That’s up there with my favorite “I want the graphics to “pop” a little more”!
AD - I don’t know what you do when quoting prospective clients, but asking them to give you a few examples of sites they like and why they like them will help you avoid surprises and give them something that will get you more “wow - that’s great” comments instead of the “OKs”.
From “Clients from Hell,” previously linked:
“I showed this to my eight year old daughter and she didn’t like the colors.”
“Needs more WA-WA-WOOM.”
Client: “You seem to have used some colours more than once”.
Me: “Yes, there are only so many colours.”
The client: “Well you’re the designer. Can’t you come up with some new ones?”
“Make sure it’s not too edgy, not too flashy, not too much detail, not classical/traditional, not too complex, exciting, but not all over all over the place, efficient but fun, clean, fresh, modern, up beat, contemporary, high readability, smooth, shapeless, timeless, not outdated, but simple.”
Heh heh heh.
Really, though, with some clients, they’re just too intimidated to show any real enthusiasm for anything. They feel out of their depth and clueless, and afraid that by showing a lot of oomph for something, you’ll think they’re naive and stupid.
And some clients are just imbeciles and/or jerks.
Max, Boy I wish I had talked to some of those clients, I would have had some fantastic come-backs to fire at them
You would think that clients would leave the design to the people their paying, we’re the ones who are mean’t to know what will do the best job for their business.
I would nto worry about it. Consider that sometimes the client has no taste. I dont say this derisively, or even to say the client has BAD taste, i simply mean the client may have NO TASTE. Compound this with the fact they may not know how to communicate their tastes.
IMHO, for example, good design works well and looks easy. Sometimes a client may be having the “this couldnt have taken that long to do’s” in that case IT’s OK can mean: they were picturing the use of 14 different fonts in on page, as many pictures as you can fit in there and every color of the rainbow used in a 4 square inch area. They see your design they notice the elegance, but they dont understand why their method would not work. this in turn gets projected to your design and “wow” averages down to “it’s ok”
Your AVERAGE design customer will look at a brand mark like… “Target” and say “it’s ok” verbally classifying it either slightly above or slightly below the intern at the local Kinkos whipped up for their tupperware resale business. Remember what I said about communicating? The client isnt going to belittle the target brand. They see it ;it doesn’t repulse them; they are strangely satisfied, but they dont know why… so they utter “it’s ok”
Unfortunately, design is seldom missed until is bad design. Put simply the majority of the populous cant tell a mediocre poster from a great one, or even passable from iconic; they CAN tell what IS horrible ( if you hear someone gasps… THEN maybe you should reconsult your muse).
FOR BLACK MAX:
I have you BEAT, and this is not even about taste… its about physics.
years ago, I got stuck doing a quick a one color sign promoting HS football. Basically a 20 x 30 sign “Go… [school team name]”. As I figured the school was very specific about their colors ( or rather color= cerulean /white) so no shades were involved. So quick type set job, simple border… I decided at first to do the type cerulean and the bg white. the client came back saying thay they felt there was not enough “cerulean” in the design. I kinda figured this would happen … reversed the colors ( b/g cerulean . type white) They like the color field , but where concerned that the name of their school was in typeset in white…
1 color job, no shades, no split type, type could not be solid color, two toned, or reversed? I asked what they were envisioning…
“Couldnt you make the name of the school AND background the same color?”
“Thanks for the check, Mr. Client Person. Now go away. I’ll contact you when I’m good and ready. You may kiss my ring.”
LOL, Alex! Hyacinth Bucket becomes a Web designer…
Now that’s just too funny.
This needs to be linked in this thread:
It has the famous phrase RaveDesign mentioned: “could you make the design ‘pop’ a bit more?”
lol - that’s great stuff!
Oh my gosh! That has to be the most brilliant editorial of the frustrations of being a web designer I have ever read!!! IT’S BRILLIANT! And it’s exactly what I have gone through! It’s so nice to know I am not alone!!! BRILLIANT!!!
Then, you know what you must do:
Buy the Oatmeal a cup of coffee!
I can definitely feel your pain but I came up with a way that really helps me with a new client and site.
In my contracts as part of the prerequisites I ask them to show me 3 sites they love and tell me why and 3 sites they hate and why they hate them. It helps to some degree but there are always those that will never be happy.
BTW, AD nice to see you are still plugging away at it. I remember when you first got started and REALLY had your doubts about this line of work.