Web designers and clients – creating a sustainable relationship
The relationship between web designers and clients typically grows over time as the project moves from initial requirement discussions through to the final delivery of the completed website. Unfortunately, the relationships between designers and clients can sometimes become strained. By following a few simple guidelines, it is possible to create a sustainable relationship that helps keep the project on track and builds a long-lasting business partnership.
Agree The Brief
If a project brief is not clearly understood and agreed on at the start of the project, it will inevitably flounder at some stage. A good web designer should listen carefully to the client’s requirements and will make sure that the client fully understands the implications of those requirements in terms of timescales, costs, usability and practicality.
Smashing Magazine sums this up by advising designers to “listen for what isn’t there” in order to ensure that they fully understand what the client really means when they express an opinion or ask a question. From the very start, the client needs to “own” the project and feel in control of the decisions and direction of the process.
One of the most common client disappointments relates to timeframes and delivery dates. Web designers are usually very busy people with multiple projects at any one time. It can be difficult to manage client expectations in these circumstances. By setting realistic goals right at the start and keeping clients updated on progress at all times, a better ongoing relationship can be built. As Forbes.com explains, the secret to managing expectations well is to under-promise and over-deliver.
Help Clients Understand
For many clients, a new web development project can be a daunting prospect. New web platforms can be complicated to understand, and design decisions can appear mystifying to those who do not work in the web design industry. Newry web designers Ryco Marketing (http://www.rycomarketing.co.uk) and many other designers take time with their clients to ensure they are confident in all aspects of any new platform and that they fully understand the reasoning behind design recommendations.
Project relationships between web designers and clients can have their ups and downs, but with a little effort and commitment from both sides, it should be possible to work through any hurdles and still come out smiling.