How to educate your web design clients

WEB DESIGN | June 7, 2015

When it comes to being a web designer there are many issues that you must deal with. Unfortunately, the clients cause most of the issues, and this can make project completion difficult or even downright impossible. By establishing yourself as the expert and in control from the start, you can avoid several nitty-gritty problems that delay the project. 

Problem#1: Customers think they are Expert

Clients who waltz in and proclaim to know more about the web technologies than the web designers are just a recipe for problem. If you are the expert, with years of educational qualification and robust work experience under your belt, why do you let them lecture you on the project? Some clients don’t understand that you have been successfully creating web sites, and more, for years. 

Problem#2: They oscillate from offering feedback to being annoying

While client feedback should always be weighed well and applied; they may have some cool ideas to work with. But, there is a fine line between giving useful feedback and being a downright nuisance. Often, customers fail to understand this fine line and frequently cross it when they start giving strict guidelines and dictating your every move. 

Problem#3: They believe Internet is the twin of Print Media

Customers who are new to the web design industry often want their website to resemble their print medium version. For example, often customers want their products brochure be displayed onto their website, even when their web designer has advised them against it, because the Web medium doesn’t work like that.

 Moreover, they frequently ask for “one last, small change in the website,” and usually this request comes knocking at the last hour, when you are about to reach your deadline. Not only is this a pain to implement at the end of a project (what if the client decides they don’t like it, or the change really doesn’t work with the overall web design?), what is a “tiny change” for a client is generally a massive overhaul for you. 

Problem#4: Clients fail to take the contract seriously

Both parties should respect the Contract Agreement, at all costs. Many clients, however, don’t see a problem in breaking or bending the rules, such as deciding they want to skip meetings even though the contract states there will be one fortnightly or that they want full ownership of the website when the contract states that the web design firm owns the logo.

 Any experienced web designer can tell you that the above problems can strain vendor-customer relationship, and your ability to meet deadlines, and get the project finished. This is why it is more important than ever to assert your authority from the beginning. 

Resolving Problems- 8 Tips

Web Designers should educate their clients from their first meeting for the successful completion and launch of the project and these are; 

  • You are a Creative Professional, Not a Bonded Servant
  • You are the Web Expert Not Your Customers
  • Communication is Important
  • The Web medium is Different from the Print Media
  • Feedback is Invited, Impositions are Not
  • There is no Such Thing as ‘One Small Final Change’
  • Set Reasonable Deadlines
  • The Contract’s Terms & Conditions Must be Respected by Both Parties

 One of the major tests for any service-oriented business is to handle clients, successfully. Educating clients has always been the wisest way to sustain good working relationships, and the same rules apply to Web designing industry. 

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