photo credit: EveBB
If you asked someone who works in web design what the hardest part of their job is, it’s likely that most of them will say “working with clients”. Whilst some clients are great – they’re organized, they’re always on time for meetings and delivering information – others leave web designers with considerably less hair and sleep at the end of a project. It can, however, help to be prepared to deal with bad clients and, by looking out for these red flags, you can ensure that you know exactly what’s coming:
- “Can we make this a little cheaper?”
This is one of the most common indicators that you have a bad client on your hands, as someone who wants you to lower your prices does not respect, understand or value web design work in the slightest. You should also be wary of clients who don’t want to pay a deposit before work on their project begins and who want you to sign a payment clause (one that, for example, requires their website to receive X amount of traffic for you to get paid the final sum).
- “I need it done yesterday”
After clients who want to tamper with your prices, the second most common indicator of a bad client is one who demands that a project be finished yesterday. These people have absolutely no understanding about how long theweb design process actually is – and nor do they care. These clients are likely to set impossible deadlines, which even the most basic of websites would not be completed by.
- “My current website isn’t great”
Whilst it can be easy to assume that a client who comes to you with an appalling website that they want redone had originally hired a bad web design company, you need to also consider that the designer was fine and that it was the client who stuffed everything up. Clients who complain about their previous web designer also tend to cause unnecessary issues, and it is likely that your relationship with them will go the same way as the other one did.
- “I built this website; we just want it updated”
Whenever a client walks in and says this, it should be raising little red flags all over the place. The main reason for this is that anything critical you say about the current website is going to be taken personally by the client. On top of this, they are going to want a huge amount of input during the web design process and will offer you their opinions and advice pretty much every step of the way.
- “I don’t know what I want – but I’ll know it when I see it”
Basically, this describes clients who simply cannot communicate to save their life. When you have your first meeting with them, they seem like a great communicator, but try and get anything about the web design process later on and it’s like banging your head against a brick wall. You should also look out for clients who say “I want it to have more pop/edge/jazz/shine/etc” because they also have no idea how to communicate their needs.
- “I think progress meetings once a week is important”
Whilst you may be tricked into thinking that this client really cares about the web design process and wants to be kept informed of your progress, a client who says something like this is raising the big red flag for excessive neediness. A client who says this is basically saying that they have no idea what they are doing and that they don’t trust you as far as they could throw you. You’re likely to spend more time meeting with them than working on their web design.
Whilst it can be hard to avoid all bad web design clients, especially if you need to work and the money, by looking out for these red flags when you first meet with a client you can make sure that you are well prepared for whatever they will throw at you in the future. Hopefully, you can make a potentially bad client experience into an average or even an enjoyable one.