“Because it’s what the client wants”

This is likely the most often used excuse for giving the client something you don’t want to give them. To give them something that in your best opinion isn’t what they want at all. As developers, or people in the profession of giving people websites of quality (and I say that because some companies couldn’t care less), we need to learn to avoid this phrase. This especially applies to smaller companies.

We’re in the position where by the majority of the time a client will come to us asking us to provide them with what they want. It’s not often someone comes to you with a brief marking out 100% of what they want, feature for feature. When in this position we’re in a position of trust to advise them exactly what’s best and to provide them with the best we possibly can.

“Because it’s what the client wants” is an unfortunate consequence of not enough dialogue and an unwillingness to provide better alternatives to a proposed solution which is lesser than you’d normally want to provide.

For web users everywhere, please, stop using this excuse.

8 Responses

  1. Jacob

    I admit that I used this sweet excuse when I had some limitations in designing some UI elements. That was when I was just new to buisness. Back then, I did experiment on a few color palettes that the client wanted me to implement. These usually met with solid criticism. Later I understood, Its best we believe in our skills and select for ourselves whats best for them.

  2. Lucrezia

    Working in academia rather than in the commercial arena, I plead guilty to the exact opposite – sometimes telling my content authors that I *won’t* do what they want because it’s counter-productive/gimmicky/not worth the effort for minimal value to the user in an educational context. I remind them that I’m the developer, design is *my* job, and that they should just let me do it. Couldn’t get away with that in the commercial world, but generally academics understand the notion of expertise.

  3. Andrei

  4. Saleh A. aziz

    will i am a mized that even in uk you guys face the same thing, almost every developer i have met talks about this,,, will even if we think that it is better to do a thing the customer is always right!

    to avoid this problem you need to do 1 of 2 things:

    1- Hire a Marketing guy to handle this, like we do coding they do talking trust me some marketing guys can be very magically and will guide your clients to exactly were you want them and how you want then to think.

    2- Define Fixed Web Products and Introduce your clients to exact products with few options and upon that they chose and you deliver… for example like vbuiltin or facebook.com

    to avoid such problems you need and must know that what we thought in university that if we know how it works and work it out then we will be rich is a stooped idea!

    in Web the minimum team needs are = Developer, Designer & Manager

    and finally from a business point of view either take a franchise or run your own way “Trial & Error” until you come up with a business strategy to satisfy your pocket and the client needs…

    hope all the best,
    Saleh (:

  5. Mike

    I used to hear this all the time from a project manager completely out of his depth whilst working at an agency last year. To me, if you’re using this excuse you simply don’t have what it takes in anything involving web development or web design.

  6. Can Berkol

    Everyone of us did the same thing one or more times.. This usually happens if we act like an amateur in project management part. When we lose the track, the customer loses track. When we lose the track, project loses the track. The job is never done, always postponed to a later deadline, the profits are lost, and an unpleasent feeling against the customer fires up within us. Then we try to end the project as soon as possible, we no longer care about the project and the customer.

    This can happen, because no one of us is perfect; we are humans but what it should’n happen is that we make a habit of it – of making mistakes like this. There is always a chance for a come back. We can always evaluate ourselves, the past of the project and with few simple attitude changes we can make thing better again. We can at least re-win the heart and trust of the customer and that is in long term much more important then few bucks you have lost in that particular project.

  7. burn

    I am not a wed developer, my husband does. I seen it the hardship that he is been through. One of his clients, who happens to be a husband of his sister in law. He wants my husband to design for his website and maintain it. It took him for several nights figuring out what is best and finish it before the set deadline. We thought that he will be paid out, but he never did. My husband was just setting it with a very low price with $350.

    May I ask you, your answer will highly much appreciated. How much do you usually ask for a client for web page design? Thank you and God bless

  8. Quang

    I love your Magento Developer’s Guide.

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