“You came to see me yesterday and I don’t see any sign of my new website going live yet? What’s going on? ”
I once had a client call me in a panic from their annual holiday in France:
CLIENT: I have an urgent problem…
ME: Ok, what’s up and I’ll see if I can try and fix it
CLIENT: Well there’s something up with my site and I need you to fix it immediately. I’ve just gone onto my website from the villa and the whole site is coming up in English not French.
ME: That’s correct, it’s an English website.
CLIENT (at this point very irate) : I know, but I’m in France!!! Shouldn’t it be in French when I log on from France so that French people can read what I do?
Client’s 70-ish year old father storms into boardroom during our first meeting brandishing a sheaf of papers–all print outs of Google search results, covered in highlighter and red circles.
Him: “I want to know the meaning of this!” <throws papers on table in front of me>
Me: “I’m sorry? The meaning of…Google?”
Him: “NO! I want to know why our website is not listed here! HOW ARE PEOPLE SUPPOSED TO FIND OUR PHONE NUMBER?!”
Me: “Um…you’ve just hired us to start building you a website, sir. You don’t actually have a website at the moment.”
Him: “YES I DO! My granddaughter writes to me every week! www.bill AT xxxxxxx.com!”
Me: “Ah, right. Yes, that’s your email address, sir.”
Him: “Look at this! These are all our competitors! <points to highlights and red circles> Why are THEY on here? I search OUR name and THEY are on here!!!”
Me: “Again, you don’t actually have a website yet. We are going to build you a website so that you WILL be listed in Google.”
Him: “Listed in Google?! What are you talking about? Who do I call to get www.bill AT xxxxxx.com listed in Google?!”
Me: “Ah, it doesn’t quite work that way sir. You’ll need an actual website first, and that’s what we’re here to do.”
Him: <rolls eyes and looks at his now fully mortified son sitting across the table from me> “I already told you that we HAVE a website. Good choice, son. This lady clearly doesn’t have a CLUE what she’s talking about.”
I ended the meeting and left right then.
I was approached by a supply chain management company a while back, who wanted a new website along with a new logo. “But,” the client told me, “we already basically know what we want for the logo, we just need you to execute it.”
Me: “Okay, well, that’s great if you have something in mind, why don’t you run me through it”
Him: “The main thing we want to stress is that we are a global company, and that we are top-quality in the supply chain management industry. So basically what we’re thinking is that we’ll show a semi-dimensional illustration of the world, to emphasize global, and then around the world, we’ll put chains to emphasize the supply chain aspect of our business. We think it’s really strong and will communicate exactly what we’re going for. Could you come up with some comps around that?”
Me: “…are you sure that’s sending the right message?”
I was meeting with a prospective client to work on a children’s picture book about a wounded cat who finds a happy home. The author asked me to produce a sample drawing, which she described as follows:
“There must be maggots in the cat’s cut. I want them to be detailed and life like. The maggots should be the focal point of the drawing”.
Several years ago while working on a website for a large healthcare company, I had to meet with their committee several times to have them approve the stock photography that had been selected - and budgeted - for the site. The images were all very moderately priced. The members of the committee were all very pleased and approved the images that had been selected immediately. The following Monday, I received a visit from their IT director who announced his brilliant scheme to save the company a few bucks: “Hey, forget about buying all that pricey photography. Last weekend I had some friends over for a BBQ and I just snapped a bunch of pictures. Let’s just use these instead.” Not only where these some of the worst pictures I’ve ever seen, but they didn’t fit at all with what the web site was about. Somehow I ended up losing that CD under my desk and we went ahead with the stock photos.
I’m not sure about the colour that you’ve used for the background, I guess it looks OK on screen but when I print it on our office printer it kinda reminds me of a pair of corduroys I had as a child.