What do you wish your clients knew?

I’m working on a short pdf document called A Guide to Hiring and Working with a Web Designer. It’s purpose is to help bring our web clients up to speed on terminology and expectations. It will include examples of what we submit as roughs and in-process comps, typical hourly rates, what to consider when hiring, all that good stuff.

This will be an open source thing – I’m not doing it just for “The Blog Studio”:http://www.theblogstudio.com or for “Flashlight Design”:http://www.flashlightdesign.com (new site coming soon!). My hope is that this will make all our jobs just a little bit easier by helping our clients understand some of the ins and out of what we do.

My question for all my fellow web designers and developers out there then, is this:

*What do you wish your clients knew?*

I’ll include a selection of questions in the pdf, and will credit you with a link to your site. Leave your answers in the comments.

11 thoughts on “What do you wish your clients knew?”

  1. I wish they about making photos from a camera ready for a website.

    Like it’s good to crop and reduce image sizes, but don’t go crazy trying to get the smallest image size possible.

    I’ve been given photos from clients that were supposed to be “web ready”. Some were 2000px wide and some were heavily compressed 200px wide distorted pieces of junk. It’s a total crapshoot to rely on the client supplying good photos.

  2. I wish they knew…

    That when they don’t pay their invoice promptly, it makes me want to take back the work I did for them.

    That some work takes time and you can’t have it fast for cheap.

  3. A one hour turnaround time on an email is beyond good customer service – it’s superb. But don’t expect it all the time.

    Respect for business hours = respect for your web designer. _Don’t call sunday night at 8:30 pm and ask me to rush to get your site done._

    Email first, phone second.

    Oy,veh, what a week.

  4. I wish they knew that working in Flash is more like editing film than doing print design. It’s very time comsuming (read expensive). I wish they knew that *every* facet of their brand presentation is critically important and 3 of 4 great pieces can be undermined by one piece of crap. I *really* wish they knew that investing in great design was one of the smartest ways they could spend their money, and that there’s almost nothing more valuable to their brand than a motivated, passionate, talented designer. Lastly, I wish they knew that keeping their creative studio engaged and passionate about doing great work means the relationship needs to be a true collaboration, infused with healthy amounts of mutual respect. We go out of our way to communicate to potential clients that we’re *not* a ‘production’ company–we’re a design company–and that means we expect to use our brains and our hearts and to drive the creative process. Designers are not just folks who know how to use Photoshop and Dreamweaver.

  5. I wish people knew that just because a particular site for a popular establishment gets traffic, it is not good! I’ve had requests to copy a site that makes me absolutely want to vomit when looking at it.

    Also I wish amateur clients knew it’s better to leave their logo up to the designer rather than insisting on creating his/her own in MS Paint and expecting it to look any tiny bit decent on their page.

  6. I wish they do not insist on following their branding guidelines blindly. Imagine
    a font that hard to read on a screen and mind you that was use for navigation.

  7. Hmm, maybe I too should write something like this for clients over here. In Malaysia, a huge amount of clients are still rather stone age so they lack understanding in a lot of things.

    – design to development process
    – preparation before project (copy & images)
    – CMS or not?
    – why the hell am I paying so much? (they just don’t believe us)

    Those are the main ones I suppose.

    Hey Peter, you wouldn’t mind if I too prepared something like this for my clients over here?

  8. I so dig you for doing this. LOL. I wish clients knew that while we’re pretty close, we’re not magicians. We can’t always make a chicken in a top hat doing the macarena across your site with red-headed buffalo backup dancers.

    And really, I just draw the line at top hats. 😉

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