The Hulk

10 ways to piss off a website designer!

As a full time website designer on Staten Island, I often face some difficult situations with clients who just don’t understand “the internet.” I would assume certain things in life would be common sense… my bad!

The following is a short list of 10 things that piss me off as a designer… if you do ANY of these things, you should be smacked with a dead fish!

1: Take control of my computer with out asking!

Oh please by all means, just jump right on my computer and start making changes to a design that I am working on! No, of course you don’t need to ask permission… it’s not like my computer (or that of any designer) is a finely tuned graphics system. So, please do what ever you like on it and change things as you see fit!

(that was sarcasm for those who didn’t catch on!)

Jumping on my computer is like taking my car or just walking in to my house and helping yourself to what ever is in my fridge.

This is my personal space so BACK OFF!

2: Give random bullsh*t feedback

When I ask for your opinion as a client or colleague, lame buzz terms like “make it sexy” or “make it pop” mean absolutely nothing. I can not emphasize this enough! THEY MEAN NOTHING!

The right way to give feedback:
“Hey, I think the design would benefit from having a more vibrant color in the header area.”

The wrong way:
“Can you make the site pop more?”
“It needs more balls.”

3: Force me to make your changes, even though your ideas are 100% wrong.

You will insist your logo needs to be the largest thing on every page, with your phone number coming in at a close second.

You will be shocked and appalled when I tell you that your ideas are wrong, and that no one cares about how you “take pride in your work” or your ugly logo that is now pushing everything below the fold!

You will also be amazed to find out that cramming 40,000 words on you about us page is a bad idea! The visitors to your website don’t care about how you started you business and bla bla bla!

Get over yourself!

4: Force your color pallet on me and the world.

This one is actually an extension of #3…

Just because you love the colors bright blue and florescent orange doesn’t mean the rest of the world should be subject to your color blindness! There are entire books and articles written on color theory and what responses are elicited from each color and I have read most of them. You on the other hand think blue/orange, red/white/blue, lime green/yellow are all suitable colors for the website.

Oh, I almost forgot, animal prints have no business being on any website unless it is a zoo and/or pet related field!

5: Supply as few details as you can…

When telling me about the project, please have more details than “I need a home page, about us, faq, services and contact  us page”!

Who are you trying to reach, what is  your target audience, what are the goals of your website, what problems does your product/service solve for people?

These are just some of the questions you (as the client) should have the answers to! I can not provide these answers for you, only you know this info. and it should NEVER be copied from some other website!

6: Insist that you are always right, even though you have never designed anything in your life.

Please ignore the fact that I have been an artist all of my life, that I graduated from a prestigious art college with a degree in illustration and the fact that I have been working as a web designer for over 12 years. All of my training and experience in design and development mean nothing compared to your artistic skills in Microsoft Word and MS Paint!

After all, you used to design the flyers for the church bake sale and your kid’s school play, so you know design better than anyone else (especially me!) You will fight me “tooth and nail” to get that awesome “Comic Sans” font on your website.

7: Assume everything is easily done because the “computer does all the work”

One of the most common things I hear as a designer is “it’s easy, all you have to do is click some buttons. The computer does all the work.”

WTF! Really dude! REALLY!

I once showed one of my clients all the code that was necessary to make their “simple change” and then told them how much it would cost to do. He was speechless and  never said my job was easy again!

Next time you think building a website is easy, take a nice long look at the code (right click your mouse and view page source). That is the front end code that makes up a website! There is still tens of thousands of lines of code you don’t see that execute on the server side. That is the code we know and have to write!

My personal favorite client line:
“You tell the computer what to do!”

8: Always brag about how much money you have…

…until it is time to pay me. Then complain about how bad your business is!

This is a classic Staten Island move! Everyone is so… well let’s just say wannabe “Godfather”.

I hear it all the time “my _________________ company is making so much money! Check out my new Mercedes! I need a website, money is no object. Just do the right thing and I’ll hook you up, I know lots of people who need sites”.

Awesome! That’s what every designer wants to hear!

After sending the first invoice, the story changes:
“Business isn’t good! This economy is killing me. Can I pay you $100 now and the rest when I get it?”

Hell no! This isn’t a lay-away plan. Payment upon services rendered. You wouldn’t go to a restaurant and order a seven course meal then tell the waiter at the end, “Oh, I only have $10. Can I pay you $1 every week until this is payed off?”

What makes you think my business has this unwritten rule of flexible payments?

9: Listen to why I designed your site the way I did, then tell me why I’m wrong!

I took the time to research your competition online and see what your target audience is really interested in, so that I could design your site with the proper SEO (search engine optimization) and CRO (conversion rate optimization) in mind.

I can almost guarantee you will see an increase in leads from your website with the key word research I have done.  The landing pages I created will funnel your visitors to take action!

But you think your site should look like some other random site you saw online that has nothing to do with your business and in no way will it convert any visitors to sales.

We will argue. I will show you hard data that proves me right and in the end you will win, because

You pay me, so you MUST be right!

10: After the project is over, make sure I know how unhappy you are…

…even though the site is exactly what you wanted!

After the long struggle that has now made me question my existence, your ugly blue and orange website is finally finished. The logo and phone number are prominently taking up the entire screen and you have successfully told the world about how awesome you are…

Please make sure you call me and/or email me to tell me how unhappy you are with the website. Make sure you include how you could have just done this yourself and that it was a waste of money because no one is visiting your site and you are not getting business.

End the email/phone call with “You know, my neighbor’s kid can do this stuff. I should have just let him do it and I would have been happy!”

In Conclusion

You come to me for a service. A service that I am a qualified professional in. A service that I have spent years learning and perfecting. A service that I make my living on!

Most importantly, it is a service you can not do yourself.

So please, just please STOP IT! Let me do my job and you will be more than happy!

3 thoughts on “10 ways to piss off a website designer!”

  1. Far too many hacks calling themselves a web developer. 
    Bad Web Developers:
    – Trade off aesthetics for functionality. 
    – Do not appreciate the importance of the market. 
    – Use jargon to subdue the demands of a well-meaning client. 

    All too many hacks with HTML, CS5 and FTP skills calling themselves web developers simply don’t understand business and think they are living in the matrix. Cyber cow-boys with too many long hours spent in their mother’s basement, and nothing more.

    Thank God for WordPress. It will be the death of you all. 

    A stern warning: you skills are nothing special. You just learn what nobody else can be bothered doing. You are functional servants. 

    And to the poster of this article: I note you are using wordpress yourself. wp- 😉

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