Building Somebody Else’s Vision

    January 23, 2007

I had an interesting issue come up with a client recently.

The client had already chosen one of the mockups I’d given them for their new e-commerce site, and we were ready to meet to discuss minor changes before coding started.

The day before that meeting, they sent me a layout they’d drawn up and wanted to know if they could use that instead. I told them we should meet to talk about it and they agreed.

What they had come up with was something they really liked.

They felt it suited them perfectly and I could respect that.We discussed the idea and our mutual feelings about it, and it became clear that they were really into this idea and definitely wanted to use it.

Awkward moment – I felt odd about it, being the contracted designer. And they recognized that; it was clear that this kind of just happened and was definitely not planned from the beginning, but it was what they wanted.

They asked if I wanted to continue with the project given that.

I’m not a programmer and don’t really have any interest in taking someone else’s idea and building the backend for it – that removes all the fun from the work for me.

My enjoyment comes from putting together a well-crafted site from beginning to end that reflects the personality of the client, respects the audience they want to attract and then functions without too many glitches to deliver the promised results to the customer.

Web design isn’t primarily about money for me – I love the front-end work, and if you take that away, then, well, it does become much more about money.

I tried to explain this and that I would have to apply an additional fee to make up for the lack of exposure, since I wouldn’t be able to show this site in my portfolio or have my link at the bottom of it.

So they thought about it and decided to go elsewhere and seek someone who would just code their idea. I think that was the right decision, and certainly better for me.

I would be bored out of my mind doing something like that, honestly.

So in this case I’m okay that it worked out this way – but I’m interested to know if other designers have encountered something like this, and how you dealt with it?



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Debbie Campbell
Parallax Web Design | Web Design Blog