Being a web designer can either be the most fulfilling job in the world or the reason why you want to rethink your life choices.
You see, it’s great to be paid for something you love to do. Most web designers are artists at heart and would embrace every opportunity to have a “canvass” for their creative juices. What a lot of web designers don’t anticipate, however, is the nasty business of handling picky clients.
They can come out of nowhere. Sometimes, they take on the guise of a cheerful, approachable client — only to reveal how unreasonable, inconsiderate, and unrealistic their expectations are later on.
Unfortunately, dealing with revisions is an inevitable part of the growing process.
Sure, revisions allow you to improve and build a reputable web design brand in time. But for a budding designer, time-consuming revisions can be quite costly.
To help you minimize the frequency of revisions, we’ve compiled some of the most common reasons why certain clients don’t seem to run out of new requests.
1. The client has undefined goals
Whether you like it or not, there are some clients who clearly have no idea what they want in a website.
That’s because clients don’t view the web design process with as much urgency as web designers. While they risk losing time waiting for their project to launch, web designers are giving up time, effort, and money figuring out what would be approved.
You can avoid this situation by making sure clients have clear, measurable goals.
Don’t settle for broad requirements like “readable,” “fast,” or “beautiful.” You need to understand exactly what the client wants to do with their website in order to work productively and efficiently.
Below are three simple questions you need to ask your client to establish goals for the project:
- Who are your customers?
Always remember that a successful website isn’t designed for a client — it’s for that client’s customers. If you are to decide how page elements will be presented, see to it that they align with the end users’ preferences and content consumption behaviors.
- How would you define “results”?
Do you want your website to generate sales or raise brand awareness? How about collecting email addresses, getting inquiries by phone, or amassing social media followers?
- What makes your brand special?
It’s worth mentioning that you can tell if a client is worth keeping if they can share details of their web design goals. After all, it should be something they already know by the time they buy a custom domain for their site.
If they can’t even identify their target consumers from the get-go, you’re probably better off with another client.
2. The design lacks focus
Once you and your client get in touch with their goals, incorporating elements that may distract users is asking for trouble.
Bear in mind that online users aren’t particularly known for their long attention spans. If you want them to commit to a specific action, be it signing up for a weekly newsletter or making a purchase, you need to minimize elements that would divert their attention away from that funnel.
As a rule of thumb, start with key conversion elements on your homepage and build your design from there.
Here is an example of a page that follows a goal-oriented design:
Source: Neil Patel
On Neil Patel’s page, you can see that the design is stripped down to the bare essentials. There is a readable value proposition, a striking image, and a call to action that stands out.
You won’t find any banner ads, elaborate menus, or sidebar buttons that make the design appear too busy. Everything you find on the page contributes to a single goal, which is to convert visitors into quality leads.
Of course, there will be times when a client insists on having certain elements that you deem unnecessary, such as menus and footer links. In which case, inject those elements in a way that they don’t overshadow the core conversion elements.
3. You offer endless revisions
Although offering unlimited revisions might be helpful in landing certain clients, you are basically giving them a free pass to preview other design ideas even though they’re already happy with the current version.
That’s why you need to define how many revision rounds are allowed in your project. This could be anywhere between one and five — depending on your client’s budget.
If the client exceeds the allotted revision round for the project, additional changes should be considered as extra work and charged accordingly.
It may sound off-putting to clients who don’t know you, but honest clients who are already familiar with the complexities and money involved in web design should understand. Besides, giving clients limited revision rounds will encourage them to provide detailed feedback.
4. Your design isn’t optimized
An informed client will pay attention to the optimization of your design in terms of performance and mobile-friendliness.
Remember, the appearance is only half of the experience a website can give users. It must also load fast, be error-free, and work seamlessly across multiple devices.
To ensure the performance of your design, insert visual elements like images, videos, and custom widgets sparingly. Also, don’t forget to use lossless compression tools like TinyPNG and TinyJPG to make images load faster without any perceivable changes in quality.
As for mobile-friendliness, designing a website with responsiveness in mind is more efficient than discretely designing a mobile version. You may also use a tool like the Google Mobile-Friendly test to pinpoint issues that could compromise the experience of mobile users.
Being your own web designer is an ongoing learning experience that can truly test your patience, especially when you have to deal with difficult clients who plague you with revision requests.
With the strategies above, you should be able to keep excessive revision rounds at bay while also building a more productive relationship with clients.
If you have other suggestions or tips you’d like to share with other readers, feel free to leave a comment below. Cheers!