Clients Love Comic Sans

As of late, I find myself explaining to many people why I no longer design web design work. No side projects, no clients, certainly no full-time job. In accordance with Murphy’s Law, my explanations (however lengthy or brief, depending on the situation) are inevitably followed by the remark “that’s a shame because I’m actually looking for a web designer.” Web designers are in demand. So are nurses. Too bad I’m not a web designer. Or a nurse.

One element of recent distaste for the web design trade is the client. Clients have enough trouble understanding design in traditional media such as print, packaging, and identity, let alone the web. Since the web is now about 13 years old, clients have some experience with the product, but the process remains rather mysterious. It is here that the misunderstandings occur.

This isn’t entirely a story about me.

A web design agency called MB Design, out of the UK has posted a list of Nightmare Client quotes, and why it shows a disconnect. These are the most extreme cases, but in fact these principles are some of the most misunderstood by clients seeking web design services.

Share this article with any potential clients you may know. If you’re going to be hiring a web design agency yourself, make sure you read between the lines, and don’t be “that guy”. Paul Boag, of Boagworld.com and headscape.co.uk, hosts a podcast that discusses many of these issues and how clients and designers alike can reduce headaches on projects. Go have a listen. But if you’re in the mood for a laugh (at the clients’ expense) check out this compilation of quotes from derailer.org. Stranger-than-fiction, some of these stories.

In spite of this post, I still love clients. Of course, there is still room for our love to grow…