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Overbearing clients?

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#1 illd



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Posted 01 November 2016 - 11:11 PM

Hey Carey - I just rode that snapdragon.

It was really nice to have a look inside your brain. I also was digging your kind of interpretation on storytelling, symbols and certain meanings.

Your process and visual language made (most of the time ;) ) sense to me.


But what to do if you have a customer that lets you eat shit the whole time on a project?

Meaning he has no clue about design/animation, and is telling you to do it otherwise because he trusts you "but just want to see it" in a totally nonsense way, and although every fibre in your body screams "STOP NOW!" you give his stupid suggestions a try, it is ugly as hell and the customer goes "actually I love it like that, lets keep it and adapt it to the other 8 scenes".


If I go then to my producer/agency and tell them that this solution totally stinks and I will kill myself If I have it to do it like this, most of the time It goes like: "We understand you - but the costumer is right from his perspective . Maybe you could do a compromise and go 20% your design and 80% the customers Idea?" :unsure:  It always ends in a total visual mess.

Do you know this situations? How and how hard would you fight for at least to follow the basic rules of design and composition?  


Greetings from germany!


Edited by illd, 01 November 2016 - 11:12 PM.

#2 Carey


    Wise Sage of mograph / formerly known as Binky

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 04:05 AM

[Hey I moved this to its own thread. Hope that's ok]


Yeah, I think everyone knows what you're talking about. There are a few things going on there (and probably more that others here could identify). 

A lot of agencies/studios operate under a "design as a product" mindset, when they need to operate under a "design as a service" mindset. And that's hard, because a lot of their clients come to them thinking of design as a product, and not every agency is actually capable of offering anything but a product. 


If you treat design as a product, your expectation is that the client has a thing that they want, and the agency/studio is going to make that thing. That's frequently problematic because the client rarely knows what they want at the outset, let alone what they actually NEED. Treating design as a service means that the agency does the work to understand the clients concerns, figures out what its needs are, works with the client to meet those needs, and does so with enough expertise that the client trusts that expertise to get them to the right place. So the hard part is establishing and maintaining that trust. 


Coming to a client bearing a portfolio of work that establishes without a doubt that you know what you're doing; that's a part of it. Establishing from the start of the relationship what roles each of you will play, how the workflow will proceed, and how the communication will work best; that's another part of it. A client's input is crucial, but by the time you've got a client literally telling you where to put things and what color they should be, etc... the conversation is over and that relationship is sunk. If you have producers towing that line as if that's just the way it works... that agency is probably built to facilitate a "design as product" relationship. Either way, that trust in the actual process of design is eroded, and the agency is just a manufacturer at that point.
And that's the case for plenty of studios and agencies. And there's plenty of room for those studios to make money on plenty of clients. Because some clients just want to be catered to. And some want cheap solutions to what they perceive to be simple problems. But if you're not interested in that kind of work (and you're clearly not), then it'll take a real hard look at why that kind of relationship isn't built, and why that trust isn't established or maintained at your agency. Can you be better at your job? Probably. Can your producers adopt a more beneficial mindset for their clients? Probably. Is the agency appealing to a certain kind of clientele in the first place? Probably.
You want to be able to say to potential clients, "We have a demonstrable expertise in this area. And the value we bring, the value you're really paying for, is in letting us guide you through this process to an effective custom solution for you." And if you can actually deliver on that promise, you'll give things to your clients that they didn't even know they wanted, and they'll be fucking delighted. And you can see how in lots of cases that agreement is never made, or kept, and it sets the foundation for a relationship where you hear a lot of "my wife doesn't like blue, so no blue," or "my godson could do this for me for free, I don't understand why it's so expensive." Cuz, buddy... just hang yourself already. :D

#3 illd



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Posted 02 November 2016 - 08:09 PM

Carey, thanks for your response.


I think you totally nailed it. A lot of agencies (at least here in germany) are scarred of loosing customers. So they decide to follow stupid design decisions. And if the product got bad test results (which is another can of worms) they can argument "we are sorry for the results - but thats exactly what you told us to do". But to me (from a designing/creativ standpoint ) it is even worse if the product is tested average or even good . The customer will ALWAYS argument to follow his ideas of "design" because the test showed such great results, so it can´t be wrong...


The "my wife doesn't like blue, so no blue" issue is another brainfuck that happens much to much.

Shit got real nowadays, even the customers are scarred of their own bosses so they try to avoid "errors" they made in earlier projects. "Oh my Boss didn´t like A from another Project and B had to be bigger. So please - never use A again and make B always bigger in upcoming projects"...


To me it sometimes feels like building a fucked up chair with three legs and the customer goes "yeah, its a bit shakey, but please loose the third leg because I don´t like the number 3..." 

Anyway, maybe those are the chairs of the future. I could even build one with just one leg -  customer just has to flip it 180, and stick it in his arse. 


Now THAT makes sense to me  :D




Now I feel better...

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