When it comes to web designing, a web designer is not solely responsible for every work that is supposed to happen. Of course, there are a few exceptions where a web designer embarks a project, on his own. It does not matter what kind of a designer you are because you might be working as a freelancer, for a huge company or a design agency; you will always be working with a bunch of people. These people will obviously include your client, your employer and of course other designers, developers, content writers.
A web designer’s duty does not end after coming up with a creative and workable design. Since you are designing a website, you should know how the pages will work and how comfortable the navigation and design will be for the users. You cannot relax after providing with a good layout as there is a lot more that you will be taking care of. A travel tour operator may know what brings in crowds and have ideas for a rack card printing layout that you may not have thought of otherwise.
Ascertaining Your Goal and Role
Website designing can be a very daunting task. Since there are a lot of different things that one needs to take care of, a web designer should have a meeting with his employer, client and fellow team members in order to establish his role and goals to make this project a success. Apart from this, an initial meeting is way too important so that work can be divided, duties can be assigned and deadlines can be decided. As a designer, you need to set your feet during this first meeting and the best way to do this is being very open and straight forward with your client or employer.
The disagreements taking place in the first meeting are completely understandable as everyone in a team cannot agree on a single decision. However, the earlier discussions are good to convey the important points regarding the project. I have seen most designers are unable to tell their clients about the bad decisions they are taking but if you are letting bad decisions happen, you are making yourself suffer and along with that, the entire project will suffer.
Let You Experience Speak For Yourself
If you are an experienced designer, you can easily judge from the first discussion if your project will be a victim of bad decisions. If your client is asking you to compromise on alignment, space or colors, you need to put your foot down and take a decision which is best for the project. You do not have to come across as someone who is rude, but you can make your client understand that their decisions might make the project suffer.
While expressing your opinion you should sound really confident because that is exactly when you need to make your client realize that it is your job and you know better than them and this is exactly why they hired you in the first so they need to trust on your skills and your years of experience.
Always keep in mind that some clients can give you a really hard time because they are of the view that it is their project and it should be done according to their views. As an experienced designer, you should have an idea when to give up on a client’s bad decision because having an argument all the time can be more harmful for the project. So when a client is pushing back really hard, it is up to you to decide the right time to push back.
When is the Right Time to Give Up?
Designers know their job really well, hence they have an idea what ideas from clients can be incorporated in the project and which ideas should be avoided for the betterment of the project. You should never compromise on a really stupid demand of a client. To be very honest, at times, clients themselves are not aware of what they really want so in confusion they end up giving some ridiculous ideas and if you think a client is being reasonable, it is time to walk out on a project. A good decision in the beginning will definitely prove to be beneficial for you later.
The best way to convince a client on your suggestions is to tell them that you do this for years now and you know what is right. This argument winds 90% of the times because client starts trusting you. Constant nagging from a client can be really distracting and de-motivating. Also, if you are constantly thinking that the project is being ruined by the client and you could do so much better with it, you are only making things difficult for you. Why work on a project for which you are no longer excited about?
Projects where clients and their bad ideas are interfering too much can end up in a disaster too. You would not want a disastrous project on your portfolio when you have so many good projects already there. If you think that the project on hand is going to be a disaster because of client’s constant nagging, you need to push back so that you are not the one who is working on implementing the bad ideas. Some other designer can work on them, but you should not.
Arguments – Yes or No
Arguing with the client over bad ideas is the correct thing to do, but wasting an entire day over these arguments is not a very good idea. See, every project has a deadline and you need to meet them. Also, if you have worked on half of the project, is it really a good idea to give up on the last moment and that too when you have bills to be paid. Designers who are stable enough can walk out on projects, but designers who are working hard on every project just to pay off their bills cannot. So, you should argue over bad decisions, but make sure you do not end up wasting your entire day.
If designing is your primary source of income, it would require you to think a little bit if you should or should not let bad decisions happen. If you are expecting to pay your bills for the payment of this project, then you should probably let the bad decision happen. After all, it is their project at the end of the day.
The important thing for designers is that their client should be happy and by following their bad decisions, at least you are satisfying a client. However, you should never make it a habit as it will put a bad impression on your portfolio.
Drawing a Line
Executing bad ideas of clients is definitely not a good thing to do, but as mentioned earlier, one should not practice this a lot. Designers have some principles and they need to follow those, which is exactly why they should draw a line and make sure they do not cross it. Every designer has some good and some bad projects so at times you have to compromise in order to get your income.
Do not Ignore Client’s Opinion
Since you are a designer so you know how a website should be designed but your clients know their target market so you should not take their opinion for granted. As a designer, when you’ll develop brochures, postcards, flyers, business cards, posters, booklets, rack cards or calendars, etc., you will design all this from your own perspective, while our client may look at it from printing or publishing point of view.
If you want to make good designs and earn at the same time, make sure that you walk between the lines you have drawn. You can let go of a few bad decisions and you can still make a great website. Keep the creativity rolling.