"I understand that you prefer to use photoshop, but we don’t feel like that program is universal enough. If you could do all of the design work in Microsoft Paint it would be easier for us to edit what you do and give you an idea of the changes we want."
At my old company, we met with a [elderly] client to discuss what we would add to his website. We asked him if he wanted flash on the webpage which seemed to shock him a bit… we later found out that he thought flash meant a naked man would run across the screen when people visited.
Years ago, I was working for a software company, doing their graphics. Then one day they asked me for a new company logo and arranged a meeting with all the partners and coders.
We begin to talk, i was asking them questions to get what they have in their minds.
ME- Would you like it to be a contemporary, fresh look or classic and a company that has roots
THEM- We must look young and fresh but classic and rooted at the same time
ME- But it will make the logo to look neither one of them
And I began to explain them the design process and importance of making a choice and they told me something. And the speech went on for an hour. Everyone had different ideas in their minds and they want all of them inside a logo. After all the pointless speech, one of the partners stood up and came near me.
HIM- Look, forget all of this. I’m telling you the idea. Makes a logo that fucks.
We were building a website for a client that has a preschool and sells curriculum. Just before we went live, they called up and asked us to remove the word “school” from all the page titles and URLs. I asked why. They responded:
"We heard if the gays find out we have a preschool, they can force us to teach the children to be gay. We think its safest if nobody can see that we’re a school. And we don’t want to come up on any Google searches dealing with ‘school.’"
Worked with a client on an internal motivation campaign for their sales force. The point was to push a particular segment of products during the month of October. Of the three concepts we submitted, they really liked one based on a cheesy but fun play on The Hunt for Red October. So we created an entire website concept around this theme. On about the 4th round of revisions, this was their feedback:
We’d like you to take out the submarine photos. You see, women aren’t allowed to serve on submarines in the navy, and we don’t want to alienate any female members of our sales force.
So let me get this straight. You want a website themed on The Hunt For Red October, but without submarines? You’ve seen the movie right…?
"I like everything about it. It’s just PERFECT! I just want to change the colours a bit. Instead of pale blue for background, let’s make it a bright yellow. I also think links should go red. I want people to see them! Lastly all the images are too boring. Can we use clowns or some circus images? I want bright colours everywhere! … can we use Comic Sans, too? Current font looks too clean."
YES, he did actually say Lucida was TOO CLEAN for him.
A client wanted a website for their internal stock management system. He was really all over the show in terms of what the site should do and was constantly adding and removing functionality and pages.
So we decided to map out the whole site in black and white, interactive wireframes before we started designing the pages. That way he could see what the site could and could pick and choose the pages / functionality he did / didnt want.
So we get the B&Ws done, all working and tested. I send him a LENGTHY email that explains that the wireframes are, the fact that they arent visuals but are just line drawings to illustrate what the site layout would be like and page behaviours.
5 minutes after sending to the client I get an email back. “I like the site, but we are not sure about the design. The drawings on each page look a bit basic and arent in line with our brand guidelines…”
Me: “What do you mean you want the deposit back? We are launching in 3 days!? - You approved everything. We are 42 days and countless hours into this.”
Client: “Yes, we approved the design and Yes, we did say we wanted to move forward.”
Me: “Then what’s the problem?”
Client: “Our hosting server guy, who is a long time friend looked at your files and said our website is hackable and your CMS is trash. He also offered to build us the site and store with a CMS with top notch security for only $200. - So, we’d like a refund.”
“We love the clean look of the site really - but I’m a little worried because you can’t see all the content lower down the page - can we do something so the user knows to scroll down? Like maybe an icon that floats around with an arrow pointing down? Also, can we make the headings pop more - maybe make them bold and orange. And I’m also a little concerned about the call to actions - we need to make those pop more - all 5 of them. We need the links to be a bigger and the icons too. Can we use that icon we have on the buttons and put one of those in the header? And make it quite big? We really need that header to pop more. Okay when can I have those changes? Thanks so much, the site’s looking really nice and clean…”—
"We have decided not to use any of the concepts you have proposed. Instead, we farmed this out to our creative network, and have decided to use a rotating set of 50 different clip-art images as our logo.”
I had an icon on a business application that was a rendition of an atom. The CEO says, “I am worried about that icon. You know, because of Iran. People will feel weird because of Iran’s nuclear program.”
Was brought into a meeting with a client that we had done some small time work for. He pulled up a major brand name e-commerce website on his desktop as an example of what he was looking for his upstart clothing business…
Client: If you can just get us a website, pretty much exactly like this, selling maybe 100-150 products at launch and submitted to all the top search engines that would be great!/p>
Me: Ok, what’s your budget?
Client: Well, we can’t pay you in money, but we could pay you in an ownership stake in the company, like stock.
Client: I’m looking for a complete line of custom coffee labels designed for my new line of coffee. Their will be 50 total labels that I need and based on your work and experience you should be able to give a professional estimate. How much do you charge and how long would something like this take?
After lengthy evaluation, proposal and time estimate
Client: That is just ridiculous! Why would I pay anyone that much money and why will it take so long? I’m going to tell everyone that you charge way too much money and that you’re a waste of time.
Me: I’m sorry you feel this way and that’s really all I can offer you at this time.
Client: I’m pretty sure I can hire a High School student to do this for me for $15 an hour.
We were pitching a potential client on a new website. When we mentioned we would use our photographer for a half-day shoot, he replied “well, I got a Canon Rebel for Christmas and I’m pretty good with it.”
Client: “Hello, I have an idea for a website. It will be a site about corrupted lawyers and politicians. America is READY to know the truth! We will put a lot of links on it and millions will come to the site. After that we are going to SELL IT for $10,000,000! And my webmaster will get 20%!”
Me: “It will take time and a lot of work for your website to attract that many people.”
Client: “YOU DONT WANT TO MAKE $2,000,000?!!! THEN I DON’T WANT TO BE FUCKING TALKING TO YOU!” and hangs up.