“Well, I’M working through the Christmas holiday, so if you get your designers to work too then we can get our website up faster.”
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.
“I don’t want to pay for the red words on my website, can you use less red so that I can get a discount?”
Me: “This is just a sketch of the ad with generic photos from an image bank.”
Customer: “Yes, it looks great but I don’t like this guy’s face”
Me: “We thought that person could be a simple business man. Not too old, not too young, not too pretty, not too ugly…”
Customer: “Yes, I understand and I think that’s a good idea, but I don’t like this guy”
Me: “It’s just a matter of looking for the right picture…”
Customer: “…he reminds me a croocked politician from my hometown, and I don’t trust him.”
Me: “So, how do you think should be the person in this ad?”
Customer: “Just like this! But not this guy.”
Me: “That is not a problem, we will find a better picture.”
Customer: “All these guys in suits look like crooks.”
Me: “If you have a problem with photos from image banks we could look for models and make a photo shoot.”
Customer: “Yes, but do you know anyone who looks as good as this guy on the picture?”
Me: “We can look for someone like that.”
Customer: “My problem is that I don’t like this guy’s face, I really don’t trust him. Maybe instead of getting a model we could use one of our own employees.”
Me: “That can be a good idea. Do you have anyone specifically in mind?”
Customer: “No, we don’t have anyone that looks like this.”
Me: “But do you want a picture of someone that looks like that?”
Customer: “No! I told you, I don’t like this guy!”
Me: “What should we do then?”
Customer: “Just find a picture that looks like this, but not with this guy!!”
me: So, we’ve decided that the Superman symbol would be the best image to represent [what we do].
me: The Superman symbol. Do you mean the “S” inside a shield logo from Superman’s chest?
they: And on his cape! It’s perfect, so we’re going to use it.
me: Have you licensed it?
me: Have you licensed it for use from Warner Brothers?
they: It’s a comic book, you see it everywhere. It’s not Warner Brothers.
me: So, you haven’t licensed the trademarked Superman logo from Warner Brothers, and are going to use it to brand your [product].
they: to show how strong it is.
me: we’ll need to license the logo in order to use it, it will likely cost more than your current budget, and it’s highly unlikely Warner will allow it for [your use].
they: No, it fits perfectly and it been around forever. You see it on everything, t-shirts, tennis shoes, the even made that new movie. Let’s use that one and go fast.
me: go fast?
they: Yeah, I’ve got it right here. The code for it, in 3D, right off the video game. Let’s put that right up top.
me: I’m going to need cash upfront.
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.”
Client: Can you design us a poster calender for our company?
D: Yes, sure!
Client: The price for calender is about 2.50 Euros in the super-markets. I will pay you 4.
Client : Congratulations on winning the account, now we want to see your concept for our new TV commercials.
Us : But we’ve submitted our concept on the pitch?
Client : Oh no, those were just ideas to win the pitch, now lets move on to the real ideas….