You may think that this article is about completing a project within a client’s deadline. But it’s not. This is about how to make sure clients don’t stall their own project.
How can this be? The client wants everything to be done as soon as possible, surely? Well, no. Not if they haven’t fully thought out what they want. And this, unfortunately for the designer, is something that can happen.
You might agree on a deadline for completion and get the clients to pay 50% of the price. But some clients then drag their heels, taking forever to come back with text or images so the project is held back leaving the designer waiting to finish up and get paid.
Present a clear list of deliverables to the client before starting
One solution is to actually refuse to start on a project before the client deliverables have been submitted. This obliges the client to come up with page structure, About Us page text, images, etc., first before you do one second of work for them.
This has the added benefit of forcing the client to think through their project. It can mean that the inevitable “I’ve changed my mind” moments occur before the work has started not after.
Client confusion and frustration at an earlier stage is better than at a later stage when it will seem more intractable and complicated.
Get the client to enter the text
I love WordPress and I always enjoy teaching clients how to edit the website themselves. A small number of unscrupulous website designers may charge clients for any small text change but that is not the way I do things.
A modern day web designer is an educator. They have to teach the client about the world of web. You have to explain to the client how to publish and edit on WordPress and then make sure that they understand.
Above is a video of me explaining to a client how to create subheadings in WordPress.
WordPress may seem pretty easy to us but to some people with limited experience, it can be forgotten very quickly after being learned. Ensure that the client understands when you explain the WordPress basics and then again a few weeks later to be absolutely sure.
Identify a nightmare client before even starting the project
Clients that prolong and drag their heals through a project are not the sort of clients we want. So we can do our best to identify them before the business relationship commences. There are several “red flags” to look out for during your first interactions with a client.
There are several questions you can ask about the client’s project. If any of them are met with vagueness this is a bad sign. For example:
- What’s your target market?
- What’s the purpose of the website (or project)?
- Who are your competitors?
There are more questions to ask here: 8 Questions To Ask Before The First Website Design. I don’t follow this advice so stringently when the client is
You can do it
You can executive effective design projects with perfect client-designer communication from the beginning. Ask the right questions, specify exactly what you need the client to do and teach them to how to get the best from your creation.