Client: So how do I watch you make the website? Do I Skype in, or...?
Client: I have at great idea for a website. It will be like Facebook, but for professionals.
Me: So... LinkedIn?
Client: What's that?
It was then that I started to wonder if this client was the businessman he said he was.
I just received an email from a local community group I'm volunteering my design/web skills to:
Client: Can you send me a version of the logo that I can resize and use for different things please. Maybe as a word document.
I was building a website with some payment options for a client who ran a cleaning service. She's invested in making her car look like a lady bug, with big floppy eyelashes that stuck out from the headlights. It was pretty striking and people recognized her car around town.
Me: I was thinking I could design the site to look like your car.
Client: That's a great idea! But how will you do the eyelashes?
Me: Well, I was thinking of just using the lady bug color scheme, but we can put eyes on it if you want?
Client: So can they stick out from the screen?
My client was a magazine publisher whom I'd worked with before. I'd always been surprised by their aversion to technology. They adamantly refused to go digital and thus did not have any original online content. They had a Facebook page which they occasionally used to announce events but, really used to share links to “interesting” online stories from other sites, which not only helped other publishers generate traffic but also made them look like a spam site (when I worked there, I was supposed to share 5-7 links a day and most aren’t informative at all).
I came back as a freelance writer to produce content for their print publication. From my knowledge, all the full-time editorial staff they have hired in the past had never stayed on for over 6 months. I was in between projects and didn’t mind the extra cash with zero commitment (made sure I added that in our contract).
But I spoke too soon. I was working remotely, I tried to set up some kind of communication system after learning that they basically had no idea how to do things.
Me: Do you use a project management app? Trello?
Client: I have no idea what you're talking about.
Right, not a techie company.
Me: How about Google Docs, just so we're on the same page?
Client: I know Google, but what's Google Docs?
After much discussion, this is what we wound up doing: emailing the same attached word doc and manually changing the file name and header to FILENAME_NAME_DATE to keep track of the last person and date the file was edited. That wasn't all. To track what has been changed, I had to use a different color font each time.
So now I have a frustratingly long email thread with multiple attached docs files with multicolored texts.
My liquor store bills were bigger during this period.
My company provides subsidised websites for members of our local Chamber of Commerce. They pay for the design and build, I supply low cost hosting and management.
I had a potential client today phone me to say he wanted the free website but he didn't want to commit to the hosting fee in case things didn't work out so he just wanted the website.
Me: If I design and build the site with no hosting where would you put it?
I was expecting him to say a rival hosting service. Instead:
Client: Oh on my PC here but I will keep it turned on all the time and we don't use the land line at all.
Client: I want a cool color, like yellow or red.
Me: Yellow and red are considered "warm" colors, traditionally.
Client: That's dumb. Yellow and red are fall colors, and fall is cool.
I was contacted by a writer who wanted me to illustrate a webcomic he was starting in 2019, I repeat, 2019.
Client: I want to push out a strip every day. I can't pay you, but if this hits the way I think it's going to, we'll be pulling in profits by the end of month two.
Yeah, sure. And by "yeah sure" I mean "absolutely not."
I'm a designer. I'm used to asking for a logo and getting a JPG in a Word doc. It sucks, but it happens. I get it.
What I wasn't prepared for was a client to send me a link to a Dropbox Word doc with a photo of a computer screen with their logo on their website.
I started referring to this as a "logo turducken."