9 ways to deal with clients fixed on impossible web design requirement

By Neeraj Singh | Updated: Apr 02, 2018
Good or bad design. You need to deal with the client in a shuttle way and negotiate on the final web design requirement. At time, clients have impossible web design requirement and need be handled with care and pragmatism
Many a times, clients request such a design that cannot be implemented in a way client wants or say simply an impossible web design requirement. Many a times, you can convince your client for few modifications in design with logical argument, but sometimes they stay adamant on their request despite agreeing to your points. They often come with a statement that I understand your point but I want the same web design to be implemented.

Such statements present a tricky situation for designers having a client fixed on a design request which is nearly impossible to meet or if somehow done will create a bad name for the designer. This is an extremely tough situation to deal with because you need to put in lots of energy in changing his mind from one design layout to a modified design layout. From a survey conducted on this issue, we have come to the following possible ways to handling this fixated client approach on web design:

1. Clarify the underlying philosophy of design

Brief your client about negative impact of web design if it is implemented the way he wants. If possible, show him with examples, presentation and case studies. Sometimes, verbal explanation may help, but not all the time. Alert him about likelihood impact the implementation will have on the stated objective of the website design. Try to convince your client that you are making this web design for your visitors and the stated design is not justify with their expectations or browsing patterns.

2. Give alternate design choices to client

Give them few alternative design choices that could be a possible compromise between your way and the client’s way. Also discuss pros and cons on the all possible web design options so that he is on the driver seat when it comes to modification in the final design. This convince the client that you are not pushing for making your work easier as a web designer.

3. Compromise with client's ego and design objectives

Sometimes clients or the person negotiating the web design are egoist and aggressive. They may be trying to prove a point in their own organization or trying to show that he is more intelligent than the designer. In this scenario, you will need to have patience and try incorporating few of their ego points to let go the project in the right direction with few design changes.

4. Designer! forget your own marketing objectives

The main concern of a web designer is (almost always) that he associates himself with the design and boasts it to prove his design excellence in the market. So, if all attempts to make your client reconsider the design fails, disassociate yourself from the implemented web design and go ahead with the client way. Ultimately, no designer will like to leave a project because of his own ego.

5. Involve higher and more decisive authority

Sometimes, your point of contact is not able to communicate the logic of web design modification to higher management and authorities and therefore fixed at an unrealistic stand-off. In such situation, find out and communicate with the higher authority involved in the process and elaborate on the logic of design modification. This could make or break the dilemma around design changes.

6. Involve into face to face communication

Get face to face: Sometimes, conversation on phone, chat or email may not help when you are stuck in a design related stand-off. Arrange a face to face meeting with the authority. Sit with pen and paper, presentations, videos, animations, reports and all possible materials. Give evidence to prove that the original design will fail their design objectives and customer engagement. Then suggest positive changes that could be incorporated into proposed design.

7. Explain the potential loss of a bad design

Hit them hard with the argument of potential loss of goodwill and reputation in the public domain if you go with an inappropriate website design or sub standard design layout. Explain it on the basis user interface issues, customer engagement, site visibility, ease of use and more design goals. Then substantiate the impact with a similar project of some other companies. This may work out in your way as no one like a bad UI if the enhancement bring positive result and outcome.

8. Show them the maintenance headache with non standard layout designs

Explain to your client if the proposed design implementation will prove costly and difficult to manage once it is implemented. Explain to them clearly how it will impact. If possible demonstrate your claim. Convince them that the maintenance cost will be higher and it will impact the project negatively in terms of finances.

9. Try to get into the client’s shoes

Try to get an idea of why your client want exactly from the proposed design. Make a good set of pointed questions for mapping his design idea. If you map his thinking then you might have a good chance to come to a mutually convincing alternate web design. Convince him that you are solving the issues he is concerned about.

SUMMARY

This is also important that whatever method you chose to bring your adamant client on a specific design layout, you shall also have strong conviction and argument for the web design you propose. Never try to play tricks with your clients even when they are fixed on a certain web design idea. Try to change his mind rather than tricking. Remember that web design requirement that looks impossible to you may play out highly with his business. All designs coming from the client end is not always a bad design but may have other objectives. You could be at the wrong end as well. Give a good thought and bring your client on the same level before suggesting a change or an alternate design.

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