Things We Wish Clients Would Say

Yesterday I tweeted the following:

On current client project, client says CSS only needs to work in Chrome. Let me know how jealous you are.

The responses weren’t too surprising.

Below I brainstormed a list of some other things we wish clients would say. I guess this is the polar opposite of what you find here, except these quotes aren’t real. Enjoy.

I don’t need to see any design mockups, you just create whatever you think works best.

I’ve never heard of Internet Explorer… I use Firefox.

I’d love to make some recommendations for you, but let’s be honest — I don’t know diddly-squat about design.

I really love how you made the design look *TOTALLY* different in Internet Explorer! You must have put in some extra work on that! Here’s another $500…

I have an idea… Why don’t I just pay you the whole amount up front, so we don’t have to bother with that later?

Feel free to post screenshots of your progress on that basketball-logo website, so you can get feedback from other design professionals.

Can you make the logo smaller?

I hate animation, so make sure nothing moves unless the user wants it to move.

My grandmother wanted to see the site and give you a few suggestions, but I told her to get real.

I know I’ve been paying you $45 per hour for 2 years now, but I think we should increase that to $50. You’ve earned it.

Internet Explorer is a text-only browser, right?

We won’t be having any long, boring meetings. I want you to just focus on what you do best — design and code.

Why would I tell you how to do your job? I don’t tell my mechanic how to do an oil change, do I?

I was going to tell you to create a separate gallery for my cat photos, but my harddrive crashed and I lost all of them.

I don’t want it to look anything like Facebook.

Remember those 10 other projects I said I would ask you to work on if you did this one for a good price? Here’s the downpayment for those — now let’s iron out the details!

That design is not at all what I had envisioned — I love it!

Add Your Own

What do you wish a client would say? Add them to the comments and I’ll feature any good ones here with a link back to your site.

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27 Responses

  1. So if the client said “the CSS only needs to work in IE8″ that would be bad, right? #doublestandards

    • Of course it would be bad, because I wouldn’t get to use much, if any, new CSS3 stuff. Nothing to do with a single browser, but everything to do with the browser’s capabilities.

    • Senff:

      Of course it would be bad, HOW DARE WE NOT HATE IE!!

      Seriously though — fully agree with the double standards thing. The anti-IE attitude is becoming too easy of an excuse to hide one’s (lack of) coding capabilities.

      • I don’t think you or Christian understands the concept of a “double standard”.

        A double standard can only be classified as such if the original premise is equal in both cases. Also, when someone is accused of a double standard, it’s usually because they have some hidden agenda, or other external motive. That is simply not true here.

        If the client says “Make it work in IE8 only” and the design has drop shadows and rounded corners, then I’m going to have to use extra images, extra markup, or extra JavaScript to get those to work. So the site will automatically be slower, and harder to maintain in the future.

        But if the client says “Make it work in [any new browser version]”, then I can use CSS3 for all those extras, and create a much faster and more maintainable website.

        That’s not a double standard — that’s common sense. :)

  2. inoirawus:

    it’s not much better than a client says “CSS only needs to work in IE”. the reason is simple:
    – if it’s not an embedded project (they _know_ they use only a specific browser because their sysadmins only allows that), they force you to create specific code for know reason, possibly ignoring standards. of course, if you make cross-browser page, you need to be use non-standard codes, but you use “all of them” to fix the browser’s (even chrome’s) glitches. if you do only 1 browser compatibility work, somebody (maybe a fellow co-worker) will see your page and starts thinking about why isn’t it fit good? (even if it’s a little bug, a pixel shift, or something else.)

    so i think it’s never good to hear like that. it’s good to hear a statement like this, but still, not a best practise, and make me uncomfortable:(

  3. “I’ve come up with some new ideas on features, but since it’s in the last minute and we’re launching tomorrow we’ll just wait with those til next iteration!”

  4. AHHP:

    “Finish the project when it finished. There is no timeline!”

  5. rachel hunt:

    I have actually been asked to make the logo smaller, even take it off all together in a couple of instances. so there’s hope yet.

  6. Mike Jons:

    “I heard you’re the best thing since sliced bread.”

  7. I actually had a client who upped my day rate by 50% to stop me from taking any other clients. I work for them full time now :)

  8. “I don’t want to bother you every 30 minutes, so why don’t you come to me when you have something you would like to show me”

  9. “Don’t worry, I’m ok with paying a more to make the code clean and portable. If we end up spending more time on a scalable, well-thought-out architecture and have less for adding social media features, so be it.”

    Incidentally, these would be great with pictures of Ryan Gosling. Just sayin.

  10. Kurt:

    “I realize that my opinion of the design is literally the least important, as my visits to the page are the only ones that dont count.”

  11. Senff:

    Of all the comments you wish clients would say, I actually heard many of them in real life. The problem occurs when they realize that that’s not really the way to go (the very first one is a prime example — then after the work is done, they change their minds).

    The one thing I want to hear from clients, is probably something like “This is what I want you to do, exactly like this, to the tiniest detail. And, yes, I fully understand that when you’re done with that, it will take more time/money to add/change anything to it!”

  12. Really… :)
    And what if you go to the mechanics and it says:

    “Your car is what The Flinstone’s used, right? ”

    or you’re going to them and say

    “You can finish up my car when you can. Here’s the full payment, and if there is any other stuff you think of later, I’ll gladly pay for that also… and give you a raise and a bonus when it’s all done!”

    NOT! :p

  13. Here’s a story for all those whining “professionals”:

    I took my car this fall to an auto shop. They inspected it, gave me a list or repairs it needs. Then they put on paper the price for parts and the price for manual labor.

    I agreed and payed an advance, about a quarter’s total estimate. The day I had been scheduled, suddenly they’ve raised the price for parts. After the surprise movement lost it’s momentum on me, I’ve asked them to return the parts, give me back my advance and part our ways.

    Long story short, after being confronted with the big ass manager there, they let me settle my own price for manual labor. Which saved me exactly what I’ve paid in advance, a quarter fro the initial estimate.

    When I’ve expressed my worry they will not perform the same with the repairs since we had this little fight, the manager gave its word and it put the company’s reputation as a collateral.

    And yes, they did gave me back all the replaced parts ;) And yes, as far as I can tell, the car was properly repaired.

    The moral: stop with the whining and gain clients by doing every job the best you can. If you’ve overlooked things, about the price, the terms of contract, it’s your fault. A lesson learned hard. Hopefully next time you’ll remember it.

  14. suyog:

    “Internet explorer is a manners less browser,isn’t it?”

  15. Emma:

    Thanks for these, really added a smile on a Monday morning and raised a few chuckles. Of course the client is always right… but one I’d like to hear right now is “here is 6 versions of the text I’d like on my website, its all SEO friendly and ready to go, so no need for you to research *a subject you know nothing about”

  16. “It’s the weekend, I don’t want to see any email from you until monday. Go and have a drink with some friends, relax far from my project”.

    And I’m actualy one of the lucky designers who got the “could you please send me a 400€ invoice instead of 300, your made a great work here and you should earn more for this project” I had to read the mail twice to believe it.

  17. “I am glad your hourly rate is so high, it stops me from changing my mind”

  18. “Because I know you are a web developer I asked somebody else to check out what’s wrong with the printer”

  19. “I have an idea… Why don’t I just pay you the whole amount up front, so we don’t have to bother with that later?” ========> I lived it.

  20. What about:

    ” Even if I had the time, I couldn’t do it myself, and I don’t think my wife’s brother’s son, could either.”

    Or:

    ” I would like to change this text for a much longer one, the way the contact form looks, and the general vibe of the menu. I know it will bring design issues, I know it’s a lot of additional work and I would be more then happy to pay for it. “

  21. I love when client says I should use CSS3 and don’t bother about old browsers, put link to newer browsers instead.

  22. I would love to hear “We do not believe in flashy websites, we love simple looking websites. Presenting the information is more important, you concentrate on your information flow thing using your custom table based website design”.

  23. “Oh, HTML doesn’t mean Hotmail?
    I guess I’m out of my depth. I better get back to doing what I do well, and leave you to do what you do well.”

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