7 Things Designers Really Hate Hearing From Clients

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Designers are typically pretty cool people. They usually look something like this:

No, seriously. This impressive human is actually our senior web designer here at Five by Five, Sam aka ‘Big Dawg’.

Unfortunately, unlike Sam’s good looks, his super powers don’t extend to nerves of steel and the patience of a Buddhist monk.

Although being a designer places him really high on the coolest professions’ list, not all aspects of the job are glamourous. At times, interactions with clients can get… well, frustrating.

Designers are in constant contact with clients who don’t really know much about the world of design yet they feel quite okay telling designers how to do their job. Now that isn’t said to sound arrogant, quite the opposite actually.

Put it this way. You wouldn’t go to a surgeon for a life saving surgery, then tell the good Doc how to do the procedure. While designing a website isn’t a life or death situation (we hope!), the same logic runs true. Our designers are EXCELLENT at what they do, trust them to get it right.

This doesn’t mean you can’t give feedback, share ideas, guide or question the design, we simply encourage clients and designers to work as a collaborative team instead of having too many cooks in the kitchen.

With that said, we thought it would be fun to share our design teams top 7 statements they really hate getting from clients. Not to be hurtful but to be helpful. While this article was put together in tongue and cheek, we really hope that some insight into why these statements are frustrating for our designers will help you when working with a designer in the future.

1. There’s too much white space. Let’s add in something to fill the gaps.

For the love of pizza…noooooooo!

White space (or negative space) helps in defining what is important. The old saying goes something like: when you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing.

To keep your website looking clean & professional and to ensure your website converts visitors, it’s crucial to keep the message simple with only deliberate design elements. Trust us.

2. Can you make it “pop” a little more?

Designers, unfortunately, can’t read your mind.

Say what
When giving guidance or feedback on a design, try to be as specific as possible. Designers won’t know what vague descriptions like “make it pop,” “unique,” “modern,” or “fresh” mean unless you make it clear what those words mean to you.

By being more detailed or showing examples that illustrate your feedback, will mean the revised design will come back looking more so like what you had in mind rather than a interpretation of what the designer “thinks” you meant.

3. I like it but let’s see what else you can come up with.

Using another hypothetical again, let’s imagine you’re building the house of your dreams. Would you say to the architect, “Just work with the builders to construct 4 houses. When I see them, I’ll do a walk through and imagine my family living there. Then I’ll choose the best and pay for just that one.” Of course not (but one can dream)!

Just because web design is a digital rather than a physical/tangible product doesn’t mean that the designer puts any less time and effort into the mockup.

The website design process will go a lot smoother for all parties involved if you first spend some time developing a detailed website brief that helps the design team really understand exactly what you’re looking for and are trying to achieve with your new website.

4. Just a couple more changes really quick… (after dozens already)

Both you and the design team know that there will probably be multiple changes after the first couple revisions. After all, you’ve asked for loads of tweaks already, so what’s an extra 20 or so real quick right?

And although the design team want to ensure you’re 100% stoked with your new website design, it’s really hard for them to jump in and out of a design project. Getting feedback in ‘dribs and drabs’ prevents a designer from truly getting into the flow.

Next time you’re giving feedback on a design, try compiling a list of ALL the changes you’d like to make, sleep on it, review it again the next day and only then hand the changes over to the design team to do in one hit.

5. Don’t worry, it shouldn’t take you long.

Web design isn’t a quick process that’s done in a couple clicks of a mouse (at least our work isn’t).

Every new project will have its own process, journey and timeline. Realistically, some designs can be whipped out in a few hours (if you have a genius like Sam), while others will take much, much, much longer. It really does depend project to project, client to client.

To ensure the design team are aware of any time restrictions you have, be sure to communicate this with the team as soon as possible to avoid any misaligned expectations.

And please, don’t label projects or updates “ASAP” if they really aren’t. Just as you would like the design team to drop everything and attend to your ‘actual’ design emergency, other jobs may truly need the focus of our designers at that given moment.

6. Can you just photoshop it?

Ahhhhh…. This old chestnut.

While Photoshop can do some amazing things, it can’t do everything. Designers receive some crazy requests that really are technically impossible.

When requesting alterations to an image or photo please just keep in mind that not all desires can be achieved just by adding a layer. Instead, communicate with the design team about your options, they’ll usually have a pretty good idea of what will or won’t work for your design.

7. Can we make the logo bigger?

We totally get that you want your brand to shine, to be prominent and to be noticeable to everyone that will eventually click onto your new website. The natural reaction is to increase the logo size.

While brand recognition is crucial to any marketing endeavour for your business, there are other goals your website needs to achieve that are just as important.

Remember, your new website is not built to serve you, but rather to serve the needs of your visitors and potential customers.

Next time you’re about to request a bigger logo, ask yourself, “Am I asking for the logo to be bigger because of pride or because this will truly help my website convert visitors?”.

And there you have it, 7 statements website designer really hate hearing from clients. While we know we were a little cheeky, we truly hope this gives you a better insight into the world of our incredible designers and how you can get the most out of your relationship together.

About the author
Jon Hollenberg
With over 20 years experience within the web industry, Jon is an expert in online marketing and online growth strategies. Over the last ten years he has worked with iconic brands such as Qantas, Jeep and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary plus hundreds of other businesses Australia wide. Jon is a published author of "Love at first site - How to build the website of your dreams".
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