January 14th, 2011, 01:54 PM
Web Design and Client Advice
How do you deal with clients that don't want to work with you on a project?
I took this site job on. I don't do this professionally, more for fun and to make a little extra money on the side.
I met with the client and discussed what he wanted in a site. He paid me half up front. Signed a contract I had made.
He paid for the hosting and domain name. So I'm ready to begin. He has his secretary gathering information for the site. No problem. He contacts me and tells me he wants the menu on the side and gives me an example. I design a layout and put the menu on the side and he likes it.
He moves to another section he wants and gives me just a little info on what he wants, then moves to another part and again, just a little info on what he wants. He wants a logo for the site so he has some employee's draw up some examples so I create about 15 or so, He don't like any of them and wants another 15. Ok, so I create another 15, he don't like them either. He wants something small but has no idea what he's looking for. In the mean time, I put together a flash add and place it on my host as an example just to show him what I suggest. He gets mad and doesn't want me to anything more untill he gathers everything he wants on the site. I'm fine with doing what he wants, it's his site but from a designers view.... how do other designers work with clients. Do you build a site in sections or wait until you get everything at once?
I also have the possibility of starting another site for a different client and don't know if I should wait for a while or start the new one and work on both when it's time.
I know without seeing the contract and what is says, it's hard to say what exactly to do. I'm just asking for suggestions and wanting to know how everyone else goes about things.
January 17th, 2011, 12:15 AM
You should sit down and have a good read through any documentation you can get your hands on regarding Software Development Lifecycles.
Generally speaking, you'll want to work with each client through the following processes:
Architectural Analysis and Design
User Verification, Refine Requirements
Testing: Unit, Functional (and, if needed / available / required) - Regression, Security, Performance, Exploratory
User Acceptance Testing
Operations & Maintenance
It's clear from your frustration that you haven't put any structure into the discussions with your client about their requirements. If you don't have clear, agreed upon requirements, you can't even begin to think of what to build, much less built it.
Do a little research into Agile / XP, Rational Unified Process, ITIL Application Management. Pick an SDLC and try working through it w/ your client. Given that you're working on a small business site, Agile / XP would probably be most suited for your needs, but it's good to have background on all of the major SDLC's so you can blend process methodologies where and when it's appropriate.
January 19th, 2011, 04:57 PM
Normally, I have the client fill out a questionnaire asking specific questions that gives me an idea of what he/she wants in a site.
I showed this person an example and he liked it so started from there. He gave me what he wanted in the site but then changed some things and hasn't given me any content to work with.
I will look into your advice for the next project if one should come along.
Again, thanks for the info