Web Design Expectations and Realities
There are often expectations and realities when it come to website design. As a website designer in Lagos Nigeria, I have had a variety of these over the years. In this post, I will be sharing a few of my experiences. Client’s expectations when it comes to website design differ. Many clients have clearly mapped out goals for their website. However, some are not very decisive with that they really need. Many of my clients over the years have been great to work with. Notwithstanding, there have also been times I wished I never worked with a client. Certainly, I know website developers who have been here in Lagos for a while will relate well with this. For website designers who are just joining the train, this will prepare you for the possibilities ahead.
The old saying, “customers are always right” has probably been abused by many. But still, keeping calm and making sure every project ends well is a goal worth achieving. The truth be told though, many web design clients like to see website designers and website developers as their employee. Thus, they feel at liberty to talk to them in the manner they deem fit. But to be sincere, website designers and website developers are best taking as partners. I say this because, website designers are professionals that can be very beneficial to businesses in this digital age.
Relationship with website designer
With the right relationship with website designer, a business can become a household name in just a little while. This translates into increased patronage for your business and of course a great return on investment. When the reverse is the case however, website designers often become uninspired to do more than they are paid for. They stick to the scope book and do all they can to just to get through and wash their hands off your project and your business.
Many web design clients are quick to arrogate knowledge and expertise they are not grounded in to themselves. All because they want to belittle the designer or developer and or make themselves look like the all-knowing. Price negotiation time is sometimes a frustrating phase of many projects. Some clients just love to price down website design services as though it’s a worthless service deserving so little a reward. And when the project eventually begins, concepts after concepts just never seem to satisfy some clients.
Website design clients
Checking through a platform like Clients-From-Hell will suggest that website design clients are about the same all over the world. Many website developers are having aches after aches from their work with clients. And most times, the best they can do is endure, manage the client, and ensure peace until the project is over. Mind you, some projects might not be over in three years! In fact, I have worked with a client at a time whose project; a blog development, lasted four years and was still not completed. You can imagine.
This was because he was always quick to admire what he sees around on others’ website. Even when these other websites are in a different line of business, all that mattered to him was the look. Yet he would not create a content to fit the design. And before you know it, after the design has been completed, he will see something sparkling on another website and then, the process begins again. Let me summarize my website design experience in the following sub-headings.
Client and Website Developer Meetings
As a website developer or website design, you would expect and definitely love to have simple meetings. By simple I mean a meeting where the client provides clear information about his needs. This happens actually but the reality is that it does not happen with all clients. Some clients already know what they need on their website. They even have links to different websites of businesses similar to theirs where such already exist. This type of clients is always the best to work with.
There are others however who have a cloud of ideas for their website design. Your meeting them will take longer time, patience and determination. You might even have series of meetings that might span months. Whichever the case, making sure that you understand your client’s expectations is critically important. So, you just have to do your best to clearly understand your client before you commence website design.
Website Design Cost
When it comes to building complex web platforms like Facebook for instance, you would expect a client to have lots of cash. When you got the RFP (request for proposal), you might have felt so glad. You even thought of having a team of experience web developers join you on it. But don’t be surprised, the client might turn out to have a Twenty Thousand Naira budget! Smiles… Cost for Website Design or Website Development is often a trick thing. There are clients who value creative works and have the money to pay for it, just like there are those that don’t. Also, there are clients who know about the tones of returns they would make from their website just as there are others who don’t.
The first kinds of clients are often eager to pay well. The tricky part to this is that you might not be able to tell which type they are from afar. Some web designers love to research their clients before charging their website design project. But even when your client is rich, if he does not value his website, he might still not pay. So, with pricing, my view is: charge with respect to the value you are giving. Be willing to review your price depending on who your client is, as long as it is profitable to you. And of course, try to know what and how other website designers are charging.