Why Client Revisions Shouldn’t Be Allowed

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This past week The Oatmeal had a post called How A Web Design Goes Straight To Hell.  The post got quite popular, getting on Digg and became a trending topic on Twitter.  After reading the comic and finding it quite amusing, one thing went off in my head;  that post makes one thing obvious to me, client revisions are bad.  Normally these revision occur after you’ve delivered the product to the client and they want to make “tweaks”.  I’ll say I HATE that!

If you are doing your job correctly as a designer you a developing a creative brief for the client outlining a solution, or solutions to their problems.  By the time deliverables reach the client they should meet all requirements of the creative brief.  If the client is paying a designer to create something because the client cannot.  The client needs to know that the end product will meet the creative brief and that the designer’s work is in the best interest of the customer.

Client revisions should not be needed if the project is planned correctly and all requirements of the client are addressed when the designer creates the end product.

This entry was posted on Monday, December 7th, 2009 at 8:00 am and is filed under Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Why Client Revisions Shouldn’t Be Allowed”

  1.     Shawn Davis Says:

        December 7th, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    This web comic is really funny, and we’ve all been there, but it’s a great example of not managing your client or the project. If you have a solid rationale for the designs you’re proposing, then you should be able to defend against unreasonable requests (which is code for stupid ideas). It’s really a process of educating the client and bringing them to an understanding of WHY you did what you did. You can’t defend a design by saying “because it’s cool looking”, that’s not enough.

    Another way to keep things on track is getting sign-offs for steps along the way. Before you move on to the next phase the client needs to agree to the work and the direction. After sign-off, if changes occur, then you are free to issue change orders.

    I would agree with you that continued reference to the creative brief is a good way to keep the client focused on the task at hand…and keep the kitten pictures out of your design.

  2.     Matt Says:

        December 7th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Shawn I would completely agree with you. A more collaborative effort on a designer’s part and getting client sign off during the design process are great ways to prevent any chaos. However having seen more than a few projects come completely apart due to client changes, I think that the process and agreement on the work between client and designer needs to happen before the deliverables hit the table. Changes that occur “after the fact” usually only delay timelines, and derail budgets.

  3.     Niki Brown Says:

        December 10th, 2009 at 9:58 am

    The design process is about designer-client communication more than anything. The more you focus on this and finding out what the client really NEEDS (not wants) and meet those needs the smoother the project will go.

    Its always a learning process.

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