I’ve written a few guides for end users, including how not to get screwed by your web guy, and buying first place on Google, but I’ve never really talked about what makes a client a developer’s dream. While it is the developer’s job to correctly assess the client’s needs, and meet them, some clients make this easier than others. (And no, this is not a rant or complaint post; you can get your fill of that at ClientsFromHell. I’ve been blessed to have awesome clients with very few exceptions).
Being an awesome web client means you get a better result, in less time, for less money. So, in no particular order, this is a list of things I love about you, dear clients, and advice to everyone else out there about to engage the services of a web developer on how to be as awesome as you.
You either have clear goals for your project, or you’re willing to engage in a conversation to clarify your goals.
You understand that the website may need to accomplish many different things, and that it should be a cohesive platform that is central to your print, mass media, and search/social marketing, so you continue an ongoing conversation about the business goals as they relate to the site, assess whether they’re being achieved, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Your clear targets help us both to measure whether we’re succeeding.
You understand that you are the voice of your company.
While I can build beautiful, user friendly platforms that integrate with your business systems and social media, I can’t put a voice to your passion. I’ve spoken in the past about the need for businesses to communicate with their true voice; you come to the table with ideas for what you want to say, how you want to say it, and you drive your content creation. You have a document you’ve put together with your content ideas or actual text, and a folder of pics.
You communicate clearly and frequently.
When you have a question, you ask it. When you have suggestions or revisions, you make them specific, and ask about options. You respond to content requests or decision questions in a timely fashion, and you advise of delays as soon as you’re aware of them. We mutually respect each others’ time and schedule, and that makes coordinating our efforts a snap.
You’re receptive to the expertise you’re paying for.
You realize there may be technical limitations to some of your requests, and when made aware of them, ask for options and input. You strongly consider offered suggestions to your layout, design or branding concept, and understand that there are design and/or usability principles that are important that you may not be aware of, or have considered. You recognize that a design suggestion or technical concern comes from a fervent desire to make your project a success, and from experience.
So, that’s how my clients are awesome. Designers and developers, what things do you love about your awesome clients? If you’re a client, what can we do to make your experience more awesome?