Given the title of this post, you probably think I’m nuts, don’t you? I would too if I were you! But give me a chance to explain what I mean and I bet you will see my point 🙂
Here are the three ways why your worst clients may actually be your best clients…
This client can tell from 50 feet away if a web page element’s alignment is off by just one pixel or if a color in the web page is even a hair off of the same color used in their logo. This client’s project ends up taking twice as long as you anticipated because you had no idea of the nightmare you would be dealing with when you first agreed to build their website.
Unreasonably demanding, over-attentive, and micro-managing clients can actually benefit you as a designer by requiring you to pay extra attention to all the minute details (an excellent skill to have and one that can set a good designer apart from a great designer).
This is the client who hires you to design their website and expects just that – YOU to design their website. They give you zero to very little input, feedback, or direction in building their site, all they want to know is when it will be done and who to send the check to.
Clients who could care less about their project can actually be a blessing in disguise – YOU have the freedom (sure it’s out of necessity, but we are trying to look on the bright side here) to do what you want with the website. You are more or less getting paid to design a website to your liking, and that is a rare thing indeed (we have all dealt with clients who insist on using terrible quality photos, Comic Sans, flashing animated logos, etc., on their websites – which then of course NEVER end up in our portfolios). The benefit of these clients is you have the opportunity to design your best website yet!
This client probably took an HTML class in high school and definitely thinks they could have been a web designer, therefore all they need you to do is EVERYTHING they say. We all know why this is scary – because they are not, in fact, web designers and don’t, in fact, know the best way to build one!
Dealing with know-it-all clients who don’t want any input from you at all is very frustrating. However, in my (unfortunate) experiences with clients such as these, the benefit to me was learning how to stand my ground on issues that I really would not compromise on. You heard me – sometimes (if done correctly) I think there are things you need to argue out with a client who has a terrible idea. For example: say a client wants to use horrific pop up ads that are impossible to close without entering an email address. One of the fastest ways to sabotage a website’s success, correct? So in this type of case, I would not only explain to the client why this is a bad idea but also back up what I was saying with facts and figures – showing how a pop up ad like the client wants is going to affect his website’s bounce rate, page views, etc., etc. In the end, the client may insist on the pop up ad, but my point is still valid – this type of client requires you as a designer to be able to defend the way and the reasons you design and develop sites the way you do.
So there you have it friends – a different way of looking at your nightmare clients 🙂