to this collection
of client quotes and horror stories, a commiseration among web designers working in the year 2000. Some of them are really, really sad, and some of them are really, really funny. It's always good to actually know what you're asking for, before you ask for it... otherwise you end up having conversations like this.Client: "Can you make the background constantly change colors? I want people to know that we are fun and exciting."
Me: "People will think you are trying to give them a siezure."
Client: "Look, just try it, and if we don't like it, we can change it later."
I wonder how much the client ended up paying to "change it later"?
My humble contribution, had I known about the discussion board those years ago, would have been:
A client contracted with me for part-time work a few years ago for the initial website design and rollout for startup company. I was cash-poor at the time, and took on the work as an evenings-and-weekends project, which was supposed to be fairly small. He told me that they had an artist already lined up to do all of the images, including a company logo, navigation buttons, a big splash imagemap, etc. All I had to do is participate in a meeting with folks from the company to agree on a list of what images would be needed. They'd then pass the list to their artist, and all would be well. Their engineering staff were on board to do the product writeups and whitepapers and I'd worked with some of them before, so we had a good working relationship about grammar and spelling changes.
We emailed a bit, then had that meeting and decided the major sections of the website and the list of images. I was happily churning away on the design work, plugging content into the basic page templates, and was ready to solify the template design as soon as I got the images. I went to pick them up, and the client guy told me that the artist wasn't finished with all of them, but that some of them were ready... and I was handed a stack of pastel drawings.
Yes. Done on textured paper. With colored chalk. They were lovely, but...
I ended up getting paid enough for the hours of scanning and by-hand cleanup in Photoshop to pay for both my flatbed scanner and the software. The group that had signoff on the entire site didn't end up liking how the templates I made using those images turned out at all, so I created the navigational buttons and menus myself digitally, and left out the icons completely, if I'm remembering correctly. I cringe to think of what the artists, both conventional and digital, went through with this one guy, though.
Soon thereafter, the company hired a digital artist to create a digital logo, background image, and a couple of other nice images for the site. Between that and the product schematics and diagrams and a couple of nice photos provided by the engineering types, the site went live, looked pretty, and all was well.
Although I decided, at that point, not to ever work again as a contract web designer.
The running joke around my full-time working peers nowadays, whenever we're rolling out any project in our department, is to ask each other, "Oh, I dunno, can you make it more... purple?"
Note the new color scheme at http://www.its.caltech.edu/
*grin* The tabletop surfaces in our machine room are purple, too.
Yep, sometimes my job is very stressful, or I feel like I'm hauling the same rock up the same hill over and over again, but... I do love my work.