In case you all (hahaha I like to think I have a readership!) didn’t know, I freelance for a living. It’s not easy. I love it, I love working in my own home, I love making my own hours. But I do have to put up with clients who are less then knowledgeable about how websites work or how they should be designed. I guide them gently, and most are gracious about it. Oh and not to mention, I am not an “expert” per say, but like to think myself a seasoned professional. My time with Apple.com designers taught me a lot. I’ve been doing this awhile. Like, before the year 2000, to give you an idea. I was barely out of high school and working at an agency in Irvine, CA.
I recently had a client that I found was becoming increasingly difficult to work with. I should have known it’d be that way– they even had the nerve to underpay me slightly. But I figured the consistent work would make up the difference.
I think I did some really great work for them. I know I did in fact, because my layouts/designs are still featured on the website. You will see an example below but to keep it real, I won’t show the company name/logo as that would be unprofessional.
After the very first project, they sent HUGE emails of changes, additions, edits. I thought “wow they are so organized!” at first, then found it was nit-picky rigamarole that was making me insane and in my opinion, most of the changes did not look great. For example, I would not use a bright orange color with a soft pastel color scheme. But that’s just me. In the end, my design usually changed so entirely, I started to wonder why they even bothered sending me projects. And they said they were satisfied most of the time and sent more work my way. I started to think maybe they weren’t happy with what I was doing. I was very good at communicating with them and just thought, ok, they are just REALLY nit-picky. So be it. To each his/her own.
I sure felt like I was on a Project Runway reality show with this client. I kept saying in my head “One day you are in… Then next, you’re out!” and wondering then how unfair that Hedi Klum had FOUR kids back to back and is to date the hottest mom ever. Genetics and money I guess.
Where was I? Oh yes. So this client ends the contract after some “inconsistent” quality of work from me. Not only was I completely insulted about the supposed reason, I didn’t think it was accurate. They could have been more professional and saved some face– said, “We want to work with someone else who is more available”. If I was in that situation, I would have kept it on the positive in that way. They could have communicated these “issues with quality of work” with me weeks ago. I worked over SIX months for them. They said nothing. Just sent crazy long emails and expected it not to take an eon to work all their changes in. Apparently they were sending me projects as a test to see if they wanted to keep me as a contractor. Total Reality TV here. Really though? It was so super frustrating!
So it’s been a month or so. I’m googling around and find a website talking about a launch of a new page– and wow the styling looks almost EXACTLY like the last page design I did for this client. Wow. I was doing such a terrible job. That’s why they used my designs. Totally. This so completely irks me.
Ok vent </end>. Next time, I am going to be more picky about putting up with clients even if it’s consistent work. This ended up being a huge waste of my time and I could have been working with some more reasonable people at a better rate. Like I am currently. Take a look below for the page design I am talking about…
Here is my design, which no, isn’t my best work. But after it being changed over and over again, this is what the result was. Strikingly familiar isn’t it? Le Sigh. You cannot please them all, I guess…