How to Educate Your Clients and Reduce Your Stress

german school book image

Image thanks to: Valeriana Solaris

Are you tired of having the same “fights” with your clients?  You know, the conversations where they keep asking you to make the logo bigger?  Or the ones where they insist that you must code for IE6?

Here are some tips on how to educate them, reduce your stress, and get more done.

Speak their language

Explaining that IE6 is outdated and has security flaws might get through, but telling them “it has a poor rendering engine” will go in one ear and out the other.  It may be as foreign to them as the words on the book in the picture (unless you speak German).

Instead, describe how their carefully crafted web site (and logo) won’t display properly.  The images may overlap. Or, there may be big white spaces or missing text. Even better, show them how IE6 wrecks someone else’s site.

Listen carefully

There may be a good reason behind a seemingly bone-headed insistence on IE6.  It could be that their own customers have cash terminals that use it.  Or, many of their clients are still using Windows XP and don’t want (or know how) to upgrade to IE7.

Logos, logos, logos

The logo isn’t big enough.  Can you make the logo bigger?

First, understand why they want it bigger.  It’s not logical, it’s emotional.  If you argue, frame it in business terms, not design considerations.

The purpose of their web site is to engage visitors, encourage them to return, to remember them, to get information, to build trust, and to buy things.  If the logo is too big, it will overshadow everything else.

Amazon’s logo is small.  Apple’s is tiny.  They want you to shop.  The logo is important, but it’s not the goal of the site.

Choose your battles

If they insist on making the logo bigger than you’d like, give in.   I know.  But, they are the client.  They’re paying the bills.

You can tell them that no,  you can’t use Photoshop to turn a sitting cat’s picture around so you can see her tail. And, you don’t have to wait for payment until after their new product makes millions.

Share your thoughts

Have you had situations like this?  How did you solve them?  Are there any design wins you are particularly proud of?  Share them in the comments (with a link).