Making Customers Happy...

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Nicolecat, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. Nicolecat macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

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    Apr 2, 2008
    #1
    I absolutely love design work, except when it comes down to showing multiple proofs to a client...and them choosing the one you didn't love.
    I mean, it's a paying gig...so, technically they can choose whatever makes them happy. (I would never give a comp that I wasn't happy with...there are just always a few that I favor over the others)

    It's just so deflating. :(

    Am, I overreacting?
     
  2. design-is macrumors 65816

    design-is

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    #2
    Really sucks sometimes doesn't it. If u can't convince them, just have to go for the money... No accounting for taste sometimes.
     
  3. shecky Guest

    shecky

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    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    #3
    you show 3 comps.

    Comp A is the one you want the client to go with.

    Comp B is the dream comp, the one they will never go for but if they did it would be incredible. This may be really expensive to print, or way out of brand, or unlike anything the client has done before, etc...

    Comp C is the "safe" one that you make rather bland and quite clear not the comp they will pick. when they see it next to A and B they will know innately its not the right direction.

    we do this (or a variation of this) and usually get the client to choose the direction we want, and sometimes they pick B. They have almost never picked C. having said that we also try to work with our clients, not for them, so it is usually a mutual decision.

    EDIT: i also remember seeing somewhere an article to give to clients on how to work with a designer - maybe on AIGA.
     
  4. Nicolecat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

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    #4
    Yup...I normally show three comps.

    Except, they knew what they "wanted." So, I ended up showing them three very strong comps, and then three comps that they requested I do. ...of course they picked one of the ones they originally had in mind.
     
  5. shecky Guest

    shecky

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    #5
  6. Nicolecat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

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    #6
    Great article...great inspiration to do what you do for the sheer value of it (not monetarily).

    I read in the article that he speaks periodically (mostly at design schools)...do you know where about, he usually speaks?
     
  7. Krebstar macrumors regular

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    Feb 11, 2008
    #7
    My favorite designer I've come across once told me, never put the choice you really don't want out there, because it's the one the client will choose.

    This is also the designer who will then go back to the client if they choose the one he thinks doesn't work best, and tell them he really thinks they should go with the one that does work best. Then he'll do that again, and again, and again. He said he does it one time past it being prudent, but every time, the client always ends up coming around and picking the one he was pushing, and in the end, they're glad they did.

    His lesson to me was don't be afraid to push and stand up for what you think works, because after all, you most likely put much more thought into it than the client. In terms of what it's saying, conveying, etc.
     
  8. Nicolecat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

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    Apr 2, 2008
    #8
    I did...I told them, with a straightforwardness that wasn't cocky or too pushy, that the amount of imagery they wanted to combine was fighting for the eye's attention.

    I asked that if they went the route of their request, they let me give them a slightly more abstracted version that would be more pleasing to the eye. They wanted nothing to do with my request, so I finalized the files and billed them.

    All is good I supppose...they were happy with their end result.
    I did save them from a very poorly put together proof done by someone else as a bid for the project.
     
  9. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    Norfolk, UK
    #9
    Admittedly I'm not quite in the same area for my cad work but when I produce a render I normally do a small render to check the scene and materials, camera angles, lighting that sort of thing. I then send this off to the client for initial appraisal and then get them to say what they want changing (theres always something) before setting off a final or even a second preview render. I always talk through what it is they are after before I start and this allows me to get a rough 'image' sorted out for preview.

    On the graphics its always a case of working with them where possible to give the best final outcome.

    Unfortunatley in business its usually the client is always right that has to come first, you can try to convince some but they just will not have it, if your design is better then they should be able to see it if they are serious about considering different ideas.
     
  10. The Past macrumors 6502

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    Aug 17, 2004
    #10
    As someone who has been on the client side of things for many years, here is my take. We rarely had much respect for people who tried to "trick" us into making a choice they want.

    As another post said, urging us and nudging is all fair. But manipulating to get a desired outcome, now that is something else. It may not appear so, but most clients are smart people (at least at the MNC's I have worked at) and can tell when someone is trying to steer them a certain way.

    The designer may have disdain for the final choice. But as a client, I had to manage multiple goals (including shareholder value) and eventually own-up responsibility if a design did not deliver.

    The worst that will happen to a designer if his/her favorite design is not chosen is new stories for cocktail parties. The worst that will happen to a client if an apt design is not chosen is far more severe. There will not be anymore designer cocktail parties at all.

    We always went with designers and agencies who wanted to capitalize on the fact that some of us on the client-side know the product and our customers better than anyone else. After all, we have been doing it well for years! :)
     
  11. The Past macrumors 6502

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    Aug 17, 2004
    #11
    Well said.
     
  12. shecky Guest

    shecky

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    #12
    i do not know specifically, but i spent a long weekend with him when i was at RISD a few years ago. his website does not list dates but i would email him and ask: http://www.mellehammer.nl/
     
  13. a cat *miaow* macrumors regular

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    Jun 12, 2007
    #13
    ...or how about - them choosing the one you do love and then ruining it!!!? That has to be the worst.. "make this bigger", "don't but that awesome picture in it - use this one that we took in the office", "remove all those graphic devices that you've worked hard to develop".. and end up with a boring old piece of tat that would have taken all of an hour to produce if you knew that's what they wanted at the start
     
  14. Nicolecat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

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    Apr 2, 2008
    #14

    1. I haven't seen any comments in this thread about "tricking" the client. I would agree that would be bad practice...but still not the topic of choice here.

    2. Sure the designer will have weight towards certain aspects of the design...but in most cases this is due to lack of direction from the client or research of what other competitive companies are doing that do or do not work for them. In my case I was given direction...maybe too much of it, down to "Use this image and the depicted shape of the image"

    3. I read this as slightly snide. Now, having said that...Looking from the inside out, I'm not sure most people know what all a good design entails. Granted there is good design that wouldn't be relevant or even profitable for certain projects...but at that point, it should never have been offered as a comp to begin with.
     
  15. Nicolecat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

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    #15
    Thanks! :D
     
  16. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

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    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #16
    As a designer, it is your job to inform your clients on your professional opinion, offer them reasons, but the final choice is up to them. I often have to create sites that are horrid in my opinion, I just don't put my name on it. When it comes down to it, it's the paying clients choice, you just have to hope that they remember why they hired you.

    Or charge enough to get the time to make several!!! We just showed a client these as a matter of fact.
     

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  17. Nicolecat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

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    Apr 2, 2008
    #17
    Beautiful.

    Is that a combo of Arial & Futura? ...on the red cards.
    Love the lighting effect and rich use of colors. :D
     
  18. Krebstar macrumors regular

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    Feb 11, 2008
    #18
    As a designer, I never want to work with a client who comes to me and says, here, this is what we want, do this. So you're practically forced into doing something awful. To me, that is not being a designer, that is being a mercenary.

    I'm young, so it can be easy to chalk it up to that and say thats how it's going to be, but I know for a fact it doesn't have to be like that.

    I understand the final choice is up to them, but I feel as the designer, it's your responsibility to not show them a choice you're not comfortable with. Just because they choose it doesn't make it the right one. If you're not comfortable with it, it should never be shown, because even if they do choose it, they never should of had the chance to do so.

    This isn't directed at you, your post was just a jumping off point for a more general topic.
     
  19. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

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    California
    #19
    There is a difference between showing a client something, and making requested changes. I NEVER show anything I'm not proud off. However, if the client says I want that to be RED and there's nothing you're going to say that can convince them otherwise, what are you going to do? Tell them to get lost? Give them their deposit back? That's just a bad business decision. If you (no one specifically) have a high and mighty attitude, can't comprimise, you'll lose customers and be out of business fast.
     
  20. Krebstar macrumors regular

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    Feb 11, 2008
    #20
    As I said in the post before, I wouldn't then say get lost, but I wouldn't cave in so quickly, especially if I felt strongly about it not being red in this situation.

    I just mean having the ability to push them further and further, but knowing when not to push too far.

    Plus, I would imagine sometimes you can avoid clients who will not listen and want you to do it one way or no way, before you start working and before you even accept a deposit.

    Like I said, I'm not directing it just at you, so please don't take it that way.

    I should also mention that the designer who I've spoken to about not caving into clients easily when you feel they're not listening also said it's not something you can do so easily when you first start. But he's now got to the point where he's owned his business long enough that if a client isn't willing to listen or work with them, they tell them they don't feel comfortable working with them. That comes before they start showing them proof after proof.

    Maybe I'm just young and living a pipe dream, but only time will tell.
     
  21. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

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    Aug 16, 2004
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    #21
    Yeah, that's in a perfect world. No such thing as everything you create they love every time with no changes. 50% of my clients think they are the designers :)
     
  22. Krebstar macrumors regular

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    Feb 11, 2008
    #22
    Haha, that is something I'm not looking forward to. Their fantastic suggestions that I must try not to laugh at. As another designer once told me...

    "Clients suck."

    Aside from the payment they provide. :)
     
  23. Nicolecat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

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    Apr 2, 2008
    #23
    Yup, it's a truly amazing thing when you can take what they want...and make it look good. Even if you don't like doing it, because it smashes your balloon. :eek:
     
  24. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

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    #24
    It sometimes forces a more creative process. Sometimes, they actually do have good ideas :)
     
  25. polar-blair macrumors regular

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    Apr 20, 2008
    #25
    Wow this thread is really uplifting for someone like me who is about to go to college to do graphic design and hopefully be a designer, I never thought Clients would be such a problem. Well I now know what to expect for the future and that it wont be a wonderful life designing all day.
     

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