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  1. #1
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    Hi, I'm starting my 3rd year dissertation and I've given myself the question, hard one at that, who's right: the designer or the client? I didn't really know where to post this, so I stuck it in this category! Sorry if I was wrong! If you wanna give me an opinion about my site (www.ahmednuaman.com; www.firestartermedia.com and www.aliashosting.net) feel free!! But read on....
    Does the designer know what's best with all their knowledge and information about achieving the end result? Or does the client know what's best due to their market knowledge and information about the end user? Who is ultimatly right, if any? How do you feel?
    Any suggestions welcome!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member jameskeeler's Avatar
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    Disclaimer This is the opinion of a part-time web designer.

    For obvious reasons the web designer and the client will have differing areas of expertise. The web designer's knowledge of the field should afford them some insight into the current trends of web design, standards compliancy, and useability, whereas the client should have a deep understanding of his customer base, their wants, desires, and needs.

    It is very important for both parties to work together as a team to achieve a common goal. An important aspect that is often overlooked is the involvement of the client during the very initial phases of the design. Sometimes the designer will want to throw some things together and present the client with the ideas, and I believe that this is the wrong approach. I believe that both parties should be at the table right from the start, drawing out the design elements and defining the various functions of the site.

    It should be the client's ideas that drive the design and the designer's ideas that implement them..

  4. #3
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    It depends obviously, but you have to look at these factors.

    1) The customer isn't always right, but the customer is ALWAYS the customer. Meaning you have to factor in what they want.

    2) You may not have the industry knowledge they have when it comes to that certain area of business..........but you do have the knowledge on how to make their website work. You take their parameters and work that into your design, compliancy and such.
    If you listen to the client intially (and more importantly ask a lot of questions) then you should have a good idea of what they want in a design and features. If not, then yes you are probably going to throw ideas together..........or as I see with a lot of my competitors - they force their ideas and design down the customer's throat saying, "this is what you want, this is what will work".

    Let's face it, most designers (me included) do have an ego. Be it with our design, knowledge, or what-have-you. The key is learning to listen and asking the right questions.

    You factor in what the customer knows about their business and what the designer knows how to make it work and you will have a winning combination.
    Sure the customer has a responsibility to you to give you what you need, but it falls back on the designer to make sure he/she is getting that info.
    Hope that helps.......
    GMan

  5. #4
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    Everyone is just thinking about the end design. Surely, the reason a client comes to you is because they like your style and they're buying into the whole experience of designing with you and they're going to learn something along the way?

  6. #5
    Senior Member minute44's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, the client is right.

    I say unfortinately because because this is invariably the most annoying thing about serving the public. They may have rediculous notions of impossible things and may talk to you like crap but you have no choice but to do as they say because if you don't... they take their business elsewhere.

    It's like any job where you serve the public, be that a web developer or a grease monkey at McDonalds.

    If your dissertation goes that way I think you should end on this point:

    "The customer is always right, regardless of how wrong they are."
    No ma'am, we in IT don't have a sense of humor we're aware of.

  7. #6
    WDF Staff Wired's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that there is a limit to this rule. If you bend to the will of every idiotic customer, you will compromise your integrity, and this does show. Some people may not hire you because they see your compromised work and think that's what you do all the time.

    Also, corrupting your integrity isn't good for the soul.
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  8. #7
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    I never take a job for a client who doesn't value my expertise. Everything I do is for my client's best interest, because they pay me to help their businesses make money.

    If you have a client who asks you to do something that you know is wrong, and does not regard your opinion highly, it's probably in your best interest to let them go.

  9. #8
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    The client is often wrong and often stupid...but they provide the money so you implement their decisions after optionally informing them (respectfully) of your contrary opinion that could benefit them.

    I'm working on a site right now at my job for a client who has more experience in print design than web design...everything has a frickin' shadow or curve to it making it a mess of images. There are pages where red and blue are directly next to each other. Is it hideous? Yes, but they're paying a lot of money, so I do it.
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
    Site of the Month contest: submit your site or vote for the winner!

  10. #9
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    " The client is often wrong and often stupid." -- I love that! And I think, in a sense, that it true! Remember, as designers, we're not just giving an end product, we're giving a working experience too.

    If you're faced with a decision: the right design or the design the client wants...?

    Who makes the decision? The designer or the client? And what about the client's experience with the designer along the way? Surely the client chose the designer because they liked their work, they way they work and so on; therefore, shouldn't the client get more than just an end product but a learning experience as well?

  11. #10
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    The client provides the money, so you do what the client works, optionally after advising him as to why the decision might not be sound. If it's merely a difference of opinion or taste, too bad for you. If there's some functional reason, then it's more important.

    BTW, about the site in the first post--never, ever, ever make links have the same style as the surrounding text. Bare minimum you must change their color which is still bad for accessibility. Second is to make them bold, but same problem. Ideal is to underline them because everybody knows that underlined text implies a hyperlink.
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
    Site of the Month contest: submit your site or vote for the winner!


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