This is the very reason why I try to avoid dealing with clients and why I only dabble in commercial web design. Clients seem to be very bad at explaining what they want and when you design it to their specifications, they want to change everything.
I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me and want me to talk them through something, just because I have knowledge in that particular subject. They are too cheap to hire me or someone else, but they are more than willing to try to talk you into telling them how to do it because they feel that they are the ones mashing the keys on the keyboard, that you will have no issues with telling them how to do it.
Many years ago, my then-boss was exactly like Dilbert’s boss. I had that Dilbert cartoon hanging outside my cube wall for many years, but I don’t think he saw it or if he did, he didn’t understand it.
Today, there are so many browsers, operating systems, and platforms that it takes a long time to test. The good thing is there are websites and browser extensions that do that for you. I personally love ‘Mobile simulator – responsive testing tool‘. The extension allows me to test against a ton of browsers. Below is a sample of how it looks.
Back to the web developer vs. clients post. This one is SEO as so many clients think that you can make a change to a website and it will instantly change how it appears on a search engine. Sure, it does immediately change how the page is placed, however, the actual changes do now show differently for a few weeks. That is partially by design as if you could see how the changes you made instantly affect placement, then so many people will be abusing that to get better placement. SEO takes a long time for the results to show up.
I have had to deal with this next one so many times. Clients seem to think that you will design a fully functional website in a day or two for them to approve. The problem with this is, that if you dedicate time to design a working website without being paid, you will be wasting your valuable time. So you make a mockup image of the website, which doesn’t take up a ton of time.
I think every designer has had to deal with shit, moving something a pixel or two. The story is always that they know how to do it, but don’t have the time to do it. I put a red 5×5 and a red 1×1 pixel sample below.
I have had people ask me to move an image to the left 5 pixels and then after I do that, they want it moved 5 pixels up, followed by 5 pixels to the right, which is of course you know it, 5 pixels down. Then they will tell you that they like it (which is exactly how it was, and they had you move the image in a circle).
The “I’m sure it’ll only take you 5 minutes” comment is way too common for some people. They have no clue how to do what you are doing, and they will even admit to that, however when they want a change or an update, they complain that you are charging them for something that should only take a few minutes when in reality it takes an hour or so to complete.
This is way too common when dealing with a group of people. So many non-profits do this, and no one is in charge, so you end up being confused as to what you are doing. I very highly recommend that you make sure you are only dealing with one person (spokesman) for the project or the above will happen and you will start to beat your head on your desk.
I hear this one way too often, they are hoping that you will do the work for free, so they tell you that if you do it, it will lead to some paid work. It never does and I never do this. Money talks.
I recommend that you adopt this as a business practice. You are in business to make money, not to do work for free.