A Scenic Tour of the Online World

Clients From Hell

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Every year in our holiday ecard, we thank our clients and colleagues for making what we do so worthwhile. It’s something we mean from the bottoms of our hearts. (Not getting our ecards? Join our mailing list. The ecards alone are worth it. Clever, funny, usually animated and interactive. Sign up in that little box. Over there. On the right.)

So, you might find it surprising that I’ve been following the Clients From Hell blog where designers and Web developers share anecdotes about their crazy clients.

It’s funny, I must admit, and there are some real beauts posted, and sadly, some very familiar situations.

But it’s getting old fast: it’s one thing to make fun of clients with impossibly bad taste (“Make all the text blink. Faster.”) or who are obviously trying to take advantage of you. (“We’ll pay you when we’re profitable, think of the exposure, you’ll be rich …”)

But too many of the posts poke fun at people simply because they don’t know as much about the Web as Web professionals do. (Duh!) Why wouldn’t a client assume creating a link is as easy as taking text, underlining it, and making it blue? They can do that themselves in Word in a few mouse clicks.

Yes, most clients understand that most of what we do is not that simple, but they don’t necessarily understand all that’s possible. If you’re a developer and you’re not helping your clients see how they can use digital tools to improve their business, you’re not doing your job.

And if your Web developer isn’t adding value beyond basic code writing, fire him or her and hire someone passionate enough to care about helping you make your digital marketing great.


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