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14 Client Statements That Web Designers Hate To Hear

Ask graphic designers what they like in clients and what they don’t; you will get a long list of things. Clients often have different demands and graphic designers find it tough to meet with their never-ending expectations. Th success of any graphic design project depends on the realistic expectations from both ends and a clear understanding of the project.

Some of the most common phrases that professional web designers hate to hear from clients are presented below.

1. “My project is simple, it should take less time to complete.”

A patient cannot suggest how long will it take a Surgeon to complete a surgery. Web and graphic designers are experts in their fields, so clients should understand this and allow the designers to do their job. Only the designer knows how much time it will take to finish a particular project.

2. “My last designer didn’t give me the project files; the experience was horrible.”

With such a statement from the client side, a designer starts thinking whether the previous designer of the client was really awful or there was some miscommunication between both that resulted in such a situation.

3.  “Can you just add this additional feature?”

It’s a common habit of clients to use the ‘just’ tone. This simply shows that they are probably expecting much more from the designers than they actually paid for. From designers’ point of view, that ‘just’ isn’t always ‘just’ as simple as the client makes it sound.

4. “My project will be a big success opportunity.”

Usually, clients with no budget say things like this. They claim that their website would be unique and a big hit, so a designer should be ready to take the challenge. Most of the times, such claims get reversed and a designer is left with nothing else, but broken dreams.

5. “Let me consult my wife or friends!”

When a designing client says such things to a professional web designer or a design company, it shows a lack of seriousness. If wife, kids, or friends know better than the designer, why employ him or her in the first place?

6. “It’s easy for me to make changes if you design in MS Word.”

Graphic designers use different tools to do their job and are experts in their field. Although Microsoft Word is great for text formatting and can be used at home, it was not created to design websites.

7. Several months later…“My website is having some problems.”

Once the client vanishes after months of finishing the project, the designer suddenly receives an email or call from the client about current issues faced by the website. Although, such problems are usually caused by the client, they tend to put the blame on the designer so as to get a free fix.

8.  “My site is simple, it shouldn’t be expensive.”

A good design adds value to a business. Therefore, a designer’s time and effort is also precious to make a good design. Helping for free might be a great gesture, but is not realistic at all.

9. “I need just few minor updates for my site.”

Many web design clients just want a new look of their website no matter what. Excuses may include a minor issue that only requires a simple solution.

10. “I would like to see some mock-ups before choosing one.”

Although designers can’t really blame the clients for this as competition is rife. There are lots of websites that offer mockups without charging a single penny however, most of these are just templates that add no value to a business site. Professional designers work differently and often prefer custom designs thus making a website according to end-user expectations.

11.  “I want a design like that of Apple.”

Web design clients might have a clear idea in mind about the look and feel of their website, but having unrealistic expectations from the web designer often leads to disaster. Designers prefer to receive clear directions as well as background information from their client. Whilst asking for a Website like Apple or Facebook may sound ambitious, it is often not practical particularly when the client has basic needs.

12. “I want my design to match my Word-based logo.”

Brand images are important not just for a business owner, but for a designer as well while designing a website. However, the experience can be terrible when a designer has to start the design with a poor logo. Clients should first acquire a professional logo design before approaching a Web designer.

13. “Use your creativity to do everything.”

For clients with unique products, there should be good photography to make stunning displays. It’s not creativity when a designer is asked to photoshop some roughly taken images and use them in the web design.

14. “I have paid a lot of money to my previous designer, but got nothing, so I need your help.”

Clients often don’t know the exact budget of their design project, they often go for the lowest bidder. However, once the design cost exceeds their estimate,  they tend to look for an alternative Web designer. While a web designer may be ready to help, a client shouldn’t expect up to 90% discount ‘just’ because they have been duped by a previous designer.

Written By

Maria Shehar Bano has written this post for Peter North, a professional web designer. She is a professional writer, writing on topics related to web designing, website development, internet marketing, and information technology.



  1. David

    January 9, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Speaking from first hand experience I see !

  2. Steve

    January 11, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Very realistic list! Also, web designers hate to hear “Can you just…-or-I just need”. I am not sure why they hate, but that’s what I feel. It seems like adding the word “just” inevitably means “I want the best, I want it cheap, I want it now”.

  3. Aayna

    January 14, 2013 at 2:21 am

    Hi Peter,
    You have actually penned the real thing here!! These statements are very common for a web designer to hear. My friend is a web designer, so he keeps pouring me with such statements which his clients serve for him. I had a gala time reading this post, giggling all through the read. Thanks for the share.

  4. Fatima

    January 16, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Indeed the very real picture; all these statements and more are client’s pet. Had a great time reading your post.

  5. Kathy

    January 17, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Yeah you are right. Sometimes things are very critical. You have shared a great post. Thanks

  6. MontyFuller

    March 8, 2013 at 7:39 am

    This article actually paints a very interesting and realistic picture of the dynamics between the client and the professional designer. Actually, it applies not just to web designers, but to graphic designers too. And at times, graphic designers may get it worse. For example, a client may tell the graphic designer, “I want your help to design a roller banner or an exhibition pop up stand” but she has no idea what she wants on the banner! My personal favourite is the phrase “Use your creativity to do anything”. It is as if by “using creativity”, it will help them solve all of their marketing problems!


    March 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    This is absolutely true. My sister owns a web designing company and she keeps telling me about such things. Some customers are so difficult to satisfy. There was one customer who wanted a particular design. But however he was not satisfied with what her designers offered him. Finally one of her designer used the same design, but changed the angle and bingo he was very happy. She was much relieved and had a very good laugh also.

  8. Torres Natalia

    April 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    This is a great article. Recently I started a small business and wanted a website to be designed. I had given a lot of ideas to the company who was building me website, but then I couldn’t agree with any of their designs. Then one day I went to their office and was sitting with them when they were at work. Then I understood how difficult it was!

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