With over ten years in the web business, I have seen some client requests go horribly, horribly wrong. The following are some of our favorite doozies - names have been withheld to protect the guilty.

  • Client insists on use of a flapping flag, spinning globe, or other irritating animation. Too bad we did not copyright some of those things.
  • Client asks for ten color versions of a site. And then picks the one nobody responded to (a yellow and brown monstrosity), because it shows no biases.
  • "I will give you some images I need for the website on 25 different CDs."  Not sure why, but it almost always turns out that 90% of the pictures are of family reunions. For a site with nothing to do with family reunions.
  • "I need something really simple."  Which means, "I need something really cheap." Unfortunately the two are unrelated.
  • When the design is finally approved, the client says, "Great, we love this design, but we have to talk to <important person X> about it."  At this point the blood drains out of me and I wonder where this important person was for the first three revisions.
  • Client sends a hand drawing of what the site needs to be. This is not providing design. It is hardly providing a concept!
  • Instead of sitting down and describing what a site does, the client sends a couple dozen screen mock ups from his cousin. We call this Design By Picture Pages.
  • Fail to provide images, copy, or approval over and over again, and then start repeatedly asking why the site is not done. The movie "Groundhog Day" comes to mind.
  • Ask for a discount because the previous provider screwed them. You may not believe this, but we are not in some sort of financial arrangement with every whack job web company out there.
  • Insist that a ten-year-old design is good. I am not sure anything in my office is ten years old. And web sites age in dog years.
  • Start by saying this is 90% complete and just needs to be 'tweaked'. 'Tweak' means many different things to different people.
  • A favorite: Clients who believe that since all they have to do is say "Move this image here, and change this color" it is easy and free. Now I can say “fly plane from Boston to Chicago,” but that doesn't make it easy and despite my repeated attempts, nobody will give it to me for free. Changes take work. Incidentally these types of changes almost always deviate from the original design concepts and end up making a site worse. And more expensive.
  • Insist that every page in the site has something that makes noise on it.
  • Clients who ask, "Why is this more expensive than the site my nephew put together from a college dorm room five years ago?" Really, I put on a jacket for this meeting?
  • "I have some website updates. I will fax that to you."  Whoa, did I slip into 1982? I only find this acceptable if you are a bank. Not sure why.
  • "Help, my in-house web server got hacked."  Ok, this happens - but not usually four times in three weeks. The entire time, the client insisted that their 8-year-old, unmaintained web server was fine and this would go away. It didn't.
  • Ask "Why can't I get to the top of Google for $99 a month, like this email says?" I can't say enough about bad things about spammers. They are not only irritating; they are a terrible source of misinformation and unrealistic expectations. Thank you Al Gore!
Joe Costantino

Posted by Joe Costantino

About Joe Costantino

In 1999, Joe founded Einstein’s Eyes, providing internet marketing solutions for small to medium sized businesses throughout Dallas/Fort Worth. The company’s services include website development, e-commerce, online marketing, and content development.

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This entry was posted in Rants and tagged web design.