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1stWebDesigner’s Life #3 – Mind Reading & Doing The Whole Site

It’s time to get back to our funny project, 1stWebdesigner’s Life. We’ve received such great feedback from our #1 and #2 that we’ve decided to make it a really cool bi-monthly series to brighten your Sundays. We’re back with Webster (our superhero!) brought live by Jamie Sale!

Today we’ll talk about clients that think we can read their minds, and misunderstandings about what your job is and what it isn’t but your client may think it is. So let’s go through them.

Mind Reading

Doing the whole site

So, what could you do in these situations?

Do you remember that our goal here is to gain some insight from this comic? So, let’s go on this.

I don’t want you stealing my idea!

Many people think that an idea has value. Actually, we avoid talking about our own ideas with other people, fearing that they will just steal our next million dollar idea. But the truth is that until you implement your idea, it has no value at all. Even after implementation many people will just copy you, so success is not just about cool ideas.

Well, it may be hard to convince your client of this fact (if you find a way to do it, please, tell me).

So, your best bet here is:

  1. Position yourself as expert, someone who will help and make their idea even better with you great wisdom :)
  2. Guide your client by trying to find out at least the basic structure of their idea, and similar projects so you’ll know how to start

To check #1 there’s no easy path, you must know a lot about what you’re talking about. So if it comes to a cool project that needs awesome JavaScript enhancements, you need to know JavaScript so you can give good (and free) advice. The key here is to say like “why don’t you do X, Y, Z [cool suggestions related to what client have pitched to you] ? If you want I can do it for you for $[fair price here]“. Again, don’t fear the client stealing your implementation logic, they’ll be glad to know that you want to help with great ideas.

To check #2 you’ll need to be really updated with new ideas and upcoming projects. So if your client asks you “a way to send and receive messages to others with a unique identifier so only allowed person will see it” you may suggest her trying Gmail. Then as you’ve done several webmail clients before you’ll know the project’s size :)

But what I was supposed to do?

About the second strip, well, this one scares me even nowadays.

I used to work in a company where programmers were asked to (wait for it) insert products in their projects. Yeah, you read it right. A real company (actually I’ve seen others that work this way too) where programmers spend their precious time doing what a technician is supposed to do.

So, hold on, if a client thinks that you were supposed to add all their data, it’s not their fault. It’s yours.

What you have to do is to make it very, very clear, in the same way you won’t be designing their business cards, you won’t be adding content, or formatting their PC.

Your job is really clear to you, but you must explain what you believe your role to be to them, though they think you are they guy who knows everything about everything internet-related you won’t be doing such things.

It’s your turn!

Have you seen something like this? Do you have any fun stories to share? Just go on and comment! :)

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