Just had that nightmare situation happen but with a good ending...

2 replies
You know the situation...

The usual web design catastrophe when the client thinks he's the designer and needs to make all the changes on the planet that he can conceive in his brilliant mind... :confused:

I'd completed what the client called "motivating and definitely better than what he had expected" and then... he suddenly caught the designer bug like a day later!

Could you add this, change that, remove this, adjust that. This project had 2 review limits so he apparently wanted to squeeze in as many changes as he could before his time was up lol.

At some point I realized he was just acting up and typed out a very professional email asking WHY he wanted the changes and explaining WHY they shouldn't be made from my POV as the designer, marketer, expert he hired.

Guess what? I never sent the email! Mistake # 1.

I didn't want to seem like I was being condescending (and he was a referral so I wanted to take it easy with him cos of the contact that sent him over).

Apparently I shouldn't have treated him with such kid gloves.

Anyway, I agreed to make the changes (time consuming and really a bad idea but I went ahead anyway) Mistake # 2.

I'd allowed the changes in the first review because they actually made sense and enhanced the design (sometimes you miss a few subtleties, no one's perfect ) Anyway, as soon as I'd made those first edits and he liked the end result, he sent the second set of edits he wanted and as soon as I agreed... I got a bank alert to say he had just paid (his balance owed on the project).

Now I felt I was obligated to make those last set of edits cos I had been paid in full. Mistake # 3.

I went ahead, made the changes and literally saw the web site turn into a nightmare! It was a really bad feeling to see what I'd initially done that my client "really liked" turn into this beast based on his "inner designer". Mistake # 4.

Well, now things had to change.

I immediately picked up the phone and here is the long and short of the convo with my client...

Me: "I've done what you wanted, but now the site is very different and from my POV not as good as the first finish"

Client: "Wow. Hmm. Well, if I had known they would be that bad (keep in mind he hasn't even seen it at this point so he's taking my word for it), I wouldn't have asked for the changes. I really didn't need any changes, but I just caught the bug you know, and I decided to take advantage of the chance to get anything changed if possible. I really didn't need anything changed"

Me: "WTF!!!" (silently to myself of course Outloud I said... "Well, it was really my fault, I'm the expert, I had planned to pre-warn you but changed my mind. Had I done that, you'd have at least made informed decisions at that point."

Client: "Well, I'm sorry anyway. Could you revert to the last look?"

Me: "Sure." Grrrrr!!!!

Client: "Thanks really appreciate and I promise I won't do that again" laughs (he has another job he's sending over later this week).

Me: "No problem"

I hang up. Go back to my editor and hit Ctrl+Z... old sane design pops back into my life. Thank goodness.... lol

So moral of the story...

If you're really good at what you do and you're confident in your skills, don't let the client dictate what needs to be done. At all. Accept their views and suggestions but only to weigh them. If they make sense to you, implement. If not, tell them. DON'T be shy. That's just an illusion. If they are a good client and good fit for you they'll listen to you and happily let you retain the lead as the expert on the job. Most of my clients are vetted before I even take them on and they all react this way when I suggest they don't go down a particular path. So I should have just trusted my system and instincts.

Wasted a ton of time on this because I didn't want to speak up. The CLIENT tells me if I had spoken up, he'd have just gone with my recommendations.

Well, lesson learned--never hesitate to tell the client what you really think, at every stage when your opinion is required, which is pretty much throughout the project if you are the lead expert or hired to GIVE those solutions or suggestions to help save them from themselves.

Apparently that's what they're paying you for lol

Anyway just thought to share that, might help someone or remind someone who's about to make the same mistake to stop, think and act on your instincts.

Best of luck

Kunle Olomofe
#ending #good #happen #nightmare #situation
  • Profile picture of the author justmerob
    Oh dear, you must be working with my last client too???

    They had sent me a PDF of the design they wanted, exactly. So I did what they wanted and from there had 4 different edits to get done for them, 3 of which were the classic (hey, move this over there....Ok I don't like that, move it back......Oh you know what, put that back over there again...)

    I can feel your pain! As you said tho, our mistake for not taking those kid gloves off and putting our boxing gloves on.

    Lesson learned and let's hope we don't have to go through that again.... but you know we will...

    Thanks for sharing your story tho
    "There are no magic wands, no hidden tricks, and no secret handshakes that can bring you immediate success, but with time, energy, and determination you can get there."
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  • Profile picture of the author wave carl
    I'm glad client listens to you..lol. nightmare reversed. You are right, you need to be bold in telling them your recommendations. You are just helping them, on the other way.
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