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If you’re a web designer, it’s almost a given that you’ve worked exceptionally hard on a project, only to have the client tear apart your design. While there is no way to combat this entirely (it can be difficult to fully communicate visuals) there are some ways to save yourself some time and get a better grasp of what the client wants. Here are 3 tips to decode what a web design client really wants:
1. Give the Client Several Examples – When you sit down for a consultation with your client, be sure to come armed with your portfolio as well as your laptop, so you can show them examples of their competitors. Simply using your portfolio to help them choose a design style can limit them. Your portfolio doesn’t encompass every single thing you are capable of. Also, being able to show websites from competing businesses in their industry can help the client show you exactly what they like about what their competitors are doing, as well we what they don’t like.
2. Have Specific Questions Ready/Write out an Outline – It’s important to get as much information up front as possible. Otherwise you will end up spending months on a project, and often end up stuck on it while you wait for the client to send you more content. Make sure you set a time frame for them to get all the content to you, and be sure that you come prepared with any important questions relevant to the project. As you go through the questions, create an outline for each page they want, and try to be as detailed as possible so you can easily reference it throughout the project.
3. Keep in Constant Contact – Throughout the project, be sure to send samples of what you are doing for approval. Don’t move forward until the client gives you the go ahead. It can end up wasting a lot of your time. As the web design comes together and the finished product is emerging, get a little more aggressive with emails, and ask the client for feedback. The closer you get to the end of a project with multiple approved samples, the better chance you have that the client will have little changes that they need you to make.
So although these handy tips won’t solve all of your problems with picky clients, they can at least safeguard you from most difficult projects. Also, even when difficult clients decide to rip apart your work, you can show him detailed notes and physical examples so that they can see you did exactly what they originally asked for.
Are you a web designer that has dealt with your fair share of difficult clients? How did you handle it? Share your stories by commenting below.