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Geeman

Bloody customers!

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Hi new here,

 

I recently developed a website for a customer who said design it your way, your the expert!

I asked if he had any Sites in mind for design ideas yeh my main competitor on the same area lol

It was a single site non responsive type of idea.

I stole the carousel idea and did my customer one on his main page.

did the rest using a mobile first approach took me 3 days to code it up tweaking it for phone table and desktop. He was a pia wen I was asking for content saying I dont know what to write? Again your the expert eh?

its your bloody content!

But anyway after about 2 days I had the design layout up some pics sourced on google a jargon text just to show him the idea of the layout, yeh thats good but I dont like the pictures and the text is on German lol idiot I did explain this after that, I went to town incorporating the logo txt custom nav bar footer google maps the whole Shabang.

I finished I sent it to him for a check he said he wasnt happy because it looks like an app not a website! In frustration I told him to **** off very professional I know.

But my question is how does one avoid this in the future in terms of the design layout it really confuses me if customer dont really know what they want.

How do avoid

Spending days on layouts etc for customers to start P****** me around?

I am new to the industry well early, was kind of forced into wen I got struck with a illness, luckily I have been learning web development the last year. Was planning on getting a job next year but illness no many people will touch me now so heho thought I would give it a bash solo obviously off to s bad start!

 

Any tips folk?

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Your first mistake was in your opening sentence:

 

 

I recently developed a website for a customer who said design it your way, your the expert!

 

That statement alone gives the customer literally all the power and freedom to do whatever they want.

 

It opens you up to unlimited designs revisions and a point to which could state "I don't like this, start again".

 

You must have some form of contract/agreement in place. I cannot this stress this enough.

 

I'm a freelancer developer, but work with a lot of designers when necessary when customers require a bespoke design from scratch.

 

Among other things the design related part of the agreement states:

 

  • The customer must answer my list of questions i.e. a list of questions I provide allowing m,e to understand their business, their competitors, what they like, do not like etc. I provide a list of questions (~ 2.5 A4 pages) that allows me understand their requirements. This coupled with a discussion is absolutely essential and allows me to avoid a lot of nonsense and indecisiveness that goes along with design (i.e. no one is technically wrong when it comes to feedback.
  • Detailed feedback on all designs must be provided i.e. "I don't like it" is not acceptable. "I don't like this because of Ab, B and C, I like part D because ..." etc.
  • This varies from designer to designer, but there is always a limit on major iterations of design i.e. the number of times things can start from scratch, typically 2-3 times. However, I've only had to use this statement once, I work some very good designers who nail the design first time
  • Customer responsibilities i.e. timely feedback etc.
  • Payment schedule i.e. pay x% when the main template is signed off, x% when all inner page layouts have been completed etc.
  • A limit to the number of inner pages that will be designed - avoids clients coming back and requesting every single be designed up. I of course do this when requested though.

Again, as with many of these customer horror stories,make sure you have a proper signed contract in place before working with customers.

 

A semi related point - as you freelance more and work with more customers (even as you get older), you'll get better at identifying bad clients. If you wish to freelance that's an essential skill to have. When I started to freelance I assumed no client was "bad" as a client equaled "money".

 

Now I'm more selective of whom I work with and am able to spot signs of potentially bad customers - do not fall into the trap of working with everyone you come across. I always ask one question in relation to this i.e. "Why did you leave you previous supplier?" - all clients have a story for that. If it's a valid reason, that's fine. Some reasons however will raise concerns. i.e. swaps suppliers regularly, annoyed the previous supplier wanted top charge for their time etc.

 

I'm aware you haven't stated the amount of charged for the job. However, take a step back and attempt to estimate the amount of time you've spent in real terms. i.e. soft time (emails, telephone calls, meetings) and physical time (time spent doing the actual job). When you work with a customer as you've encountered in this instance and do not manage the situation you always have additional soft time that eats away at your profit. Repeat this too much and you won;t be around very long (I've seen this happen too many times to list). On the next job you do, keep a tracker of every minute you spend on the task - you'll be very surprised.

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Hi Rallport.

 

Thanks for the informative reply!

 

Going to take some of your ideas and implement them into my buisness strategy.

I'm new to the industry and have to take all these consideration in account.

ill get some contracts drafted with time scales for content, deposits etc

in all fairness he was a pest from the outset I kind of knew from there, I should have just cut him off.

I partly blame myself for not agreeing a design layout at least then it would just be they're content that needs changed.

 

Lesson learned I suppose.

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Get the money up front and don't let them give you a free hand in anything.

 

I make sure they nail down exactly what they want in writing before I do anything.

 

Same with the content.

 

I've got clients who paid me a year ago to build things and the projects are still waiting for them to deliver the content.

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So how does the content work

Does the customer supply us with every stich of text and images that will appear on the site?

 

I did actually take a 50% deposit up front so there was no issues there as such.

Just this whole design layout idea and again I took a pen n paper in to draw a rough sketch but all I got in return Ill leave it down to you.

Do I insist on a paper diagram type of design layout then

Get them to sign it.

So we can agree where to put nav bars images etc ?

 

Thanks for your help!

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So how does the content work

Does the customer supply us with every stich of text and images that will appear on the site?

Yes

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Yes

unless you contact for copywriting services and/or stock photography selection and purchase. remember if you're the one picking photos then you need to charge the customer for the photo AND for the time selecting it - it can sometimes take quite a while to find the right photo ;)

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Hi new here,

 

I recently developed a website for a customer who said design it your way, your the expert!

I asked if he had any Sites in mind for design ideas yeh my main competitor on the same area lol

It was a single site non responsive type of idea.

I stole the carousel idea and did my customer one on his main page.

did the rest using a mobile first approach took me 3 days to code it up tweaking it for phone table and desktop. He was a pia wen I was asking for content saying I dont know what to write? Again your the expert eh?

its your bloody content!

But anyway after about 2 days I had the design layout up some pics sourced on google a jargon text just to show him the idea of the layout, yeh thats good but I dont like the pictures and the text is on German lol idiot I did explain this after that, I went to town incorporating the logo txt custom nav bar footer google maps the whole Shabang.

I finished I sent it to him for a check he said he wasnt happy because it looks like an app not a website! In frustration I told him to **** off very professional I know.

But my question is how does one avoid this in the future in terms of the design layout it really confuses me if customer dont really know what they want.

How do avoid

Spending days on layouts etc for customers to start P****** me around?

I am new to the industry well early, was kind of forced into wen I got struck with a illness, luckily I have been learning web development the last year. Was planning on getting a job next year but illness no many people will touch me now so heho thought I would give it a bash solo obviously off to s bad start!

 

Any tips folk?

The best things is to provide a demo website for clients to choose on.. It might be two or three.. Just make sure to let them know the kind of layout they will get before placing an order for me the project.

 

Sent from my TECNO WX3 using Tapatalk

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Hi,

 

Thanks for all your replys,

Guess Ive got loads to learn yet and yes working on different styles of Sites i can showcase customers makes my life easier and for both parties really.

Now I just need to get the work in! Lol

 

 

Thanks again.

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