1stWebDesigner’s Life #4 – This Big & Developer Client

Posted in Freelance, Tips, Web Comics, Web Design2 years ago • Written by 9 Comments

And here we are again, trying to bring you a couple of laughs.

Our superhero Webster continues his pursuit for the best client, and we all know that he’s quite far from it yet, right? :)

We have two more short stories of Webster’s life (which is kind of similar to ours, huh?) brought to life by Jamie Sale! We’ll be talking about crazy measurement units and clients who want to be web designers.

So, Let’s rock!

This Big

The developer client

What would you do?


So, if it were you, how would you respond? I’ll explain what works for me in these situations and if you are in a good mood, please share your experiences with us in the comments.

Pixels, Inches… Which is the best?


Actually, neither.

With so many responsive designs, and a lot of other crazy and unpredictable screen resolutions out there, your safe bet is: Design fluid, responsive layouts, then the size doesn’t matter.

I know that your client may say crazy things like “I want it 10 inches tall” and you could actually try to convert this to pixels (tip: you use DPI for this conversion), but in real life what really matters is the best format for each output.

Think about how people are still trying ad formats for mobile, and in the meantime desktop ads are changing too (like google punishing “above the fold” ads). Maybe we’ll experience different formats every day. That’s why people want different ads for different devices, using the same ad as you would for a desktop based site won’t give you the same results.

So the real topic being discussed here is not about “Pixels versus inches” (since we all know that inches aren’t the best to work with as a measurement on the web). The discussion is about “Pixels? Fluid? Responsive?”. Maybe you should try to explain these concepts to your client, dear Padawan. Actually soon there will be no absolute measurement on web.

So, you want to be a Web designer?


Actually, simple tools like Word, PowerPoint and Paint may be good to share an idea. For some users they are good to help express themselves better and help you as developer understand which work flow will work better and maybe even play with those simple tools to show the client that you understand how they process things.

But whenever your client shows up with a .doc file you must tell him what it is: just a sketch. You may (actually should) consider his ideas, but let them know it doesn’t save any development time (maybe save you re-work hours).

I’ve had a client that really thought that I just pasted his .ppt file into an html file and everything was good. He didn’t even notice that what I used from his file was just the basic structure.

Those tools aren’t good to do real design so don’t let anyone waste too much time creating complex things using them thinking that it’s useful. If it has more than three colors in it, it’s a waste of time.

We all know that there’s a lot of other things that should be done before we can call it a website. But does the client?

You could explain your whole development process and where each tool is used, and where they definitely aren’t. Here is mine:

  • Idea, brainstorm and main concept – Simple text editors (word, google docs), mind maps (mindmeister)
  • Sketches and Wireframes – PowerPoint, Photoshop / Fireworks, wireframing tools (mockingbird)
  • Final design – Photoshop / Fireworks
  • Code – Notepad++

This is the main idea, but you could even break “Design” and “Code” steps down to show how much work is required to complete the project.

It’s your turn!


Have you seen something like this? Do you have any fun stories to share? We’re waiting for cool stories to publish next month!

Just go on and comment! :)

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I'm a web designer and entrepreneur from Itajubá (MG), Brasil. I love writing about obscure topics and doing some cool stuff. And also I do some FREE stuff, check it out: http://www.roch.com.br/

9 Comments Best Comments First
  • Tim

    Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 02:35

    1

    “Design fluid, responsive layouts, then the size doesn’t matter.”
    The problem is, I’ve never seen one of these that looks good on a phone. Go to CSS Tricks or go here: http://mediaqueri.es/
    The small sites just don’t cut it. They all look…dumb.
    Also, what’s the point of having a phone that can view full websites if you never want to view a full website?
    For ad banners, you have to design at a specific size. If anything, those banners are expanding to be larger when they are clicked on using html5 animation.

    As far as pixels vs inches, you have to use pixels. The answer is not neither. Especially if you actually are designing for a responsive layout. You have to give media queries based on the pixel size of your browser window. And you have to build different websites for that specific pixel size (or more properly stated, a range of pixels between the “cutoff” sizes). Browsers and CSS measure elements in pixels, and unless you are building your entire site using Flash or SVG, so do you.

    I also think it’s hilarious that Google is going to punish for too many above-the-fold ads, when they are one of the worst offenders.

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Saturday, February 4th, 2012 03:31

      8

      Oh, sorry Tim, my reply is right above

      0
  • Ian

    Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 19:30

    4

    This is the appropriate blog for anybody who desires to search out about this topic. Thanks for sharing these ideas.

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Saturday, February 4th, 2012 03:30

      6

      Hi, Thanks! :)

      I like this blog too, it’s amazing, isn’t it?

      Well, keep coming, we have amazing content every day!

      []‘s

      0
  • Tessa

    Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 12:39

    3

    Very funny. It is really a tough situation to handle such clients.

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Saturday, February 4th, 2012 03:30

      7

      Hi tessa!

      Yeah! Do you have any funny stories to share? Don’t be shy and comment :)

      []‘s

      0
  • Roman

    Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 03:47

    2

    I like how you said about clients .doc file. Yep, for some reason almost every client thinks that web development/design is as simple thing as keyboard typing. So they thinks that they can participate in developing proccess and all things they do will be right. I think most web developers are a little angry of such attitude to their job. But in other side, stop be angry and just teach your client, explain what is your job and that it is your job and no one can help you. The main thing is to convince client that you are a pro and you know how to do better. When client understand all this thing, he will listening to you and agree with your thoughts.

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Saturday, February 4th, 2012 03:33

      9

      Hi Roman,

      This is the same feeling I have. Even little more experienced clients trend to undervaluate our job. Teaching stuff to clients is the best way to get them evolved without doing crazy stuff, indeed!

      I totally agree with you!

      Thanks!
      []‘s

      0
  • Rochester Oliveira

    Saturday, February 4th, 2012 03:28

    5

    Hi Tim!

    ““Design fluid, responsive layouts, then the size doesn’t matter.”
    The problem is, I’ve never seen one of these that looks good on a phone. Go to CSS Tricks or go here: http://mediaqueri.es/
    The small sites just don’t cut it. They all look…dumb.
    Also, what’s the point of having a phone that can view full websites if you never want to view a full website?”

    Sorry but this is just your opinion. What I can certainly say to you is that mobile specific websites have much higher conversion rates that standard ones opened with low zoom.

    “For ad banners, you have to design at a specific size. If anything, those banners are expanding to be larger when they are clicked on using html5 animation.”

    If you have specific design for mobiles (and this is just the tip of the iceberg) you have % instead of pixels (unless you want to guess each small screen size and its portrait variation version).

    “As far as pixels vs inches, you have to use pixels. The answer is not neither. Especially if you actually are designing for a responsive layout. You have to give media queries based on the pixel size of your browser window. And you have to build different websites for that specific pixel size (or more properly stated, a range of pixels between the “cutoff” sizes). Browsers and CSS measure elements in pixels, and unless you are building your entire site using Flash or SVG, so do you.”

    Again, I strongly recommend you % instead of pixels. Pixels will work just in the case you have tested. Pixels will work in every bizarre case you might get (like if apple launches iPad 3 with full retina display, which will give you more than 2.000px wide screen, but still in “mobile” category).

    “I also think it’s hilarious that Google is going to punish for too many above-the-fold ads, when they are one of the worst offenders.”

    Yeah, I guess they’ll be always changing things to improve click rates.. This is just one of the plenty of moves they’ve made so far.. And I get we’ll get crazy stuff to come on this yet (with all those G+ shared info, maybe they’ll use it soon for ads placement)

    Thank for your long comment! And keep coming! :)

    []‘s

    0
  • Rochester Oliveira

    Saturday, February 4th, 2012 03:28

    5

    Hi Tim!

    ““Design fluid, responsive layouts, then the size doesn’t matter.”
    The problem is, I’ve never seen one of these that looks good on a phone. Go to CSS Tricks or go here: http://mediaqueri.es/
    The small sites just don’t cut it. They all look…dumb.
    Also, what’s the point of having a phone that can view full websites if you never want to view a full website?”

    Sorry but this is just your opinion. What I can certainly say to you is that mobile specific websites have much higher conversion rates that standard ones opened with low zoom.

    “For ad banners, you have to design at a specific size. If anything, those banners are expanding to be larger when they are clicked on using html5 animation.”

    If you have specific design for mobiles (and this is just the tip of the iceberg) you have % instead of pixels (unless you want to guess each small screen size and its portrait variation version).

    “As far as pixels vs inches, you have to use pixels. The answer is not neither. Especially if you actually are designing for a responsive layout. You have to give media queries based on the pixel size of your browser window. And you have to build different websites for that specific pixel size (or more properly stated, a range of pixels between the “cutoff” sizes). Browsers and CSS measure elements in pixels, and unless you are building your entire site using Flash or SVG, so do you.”

    Again, I strongly recommend you % instead of pixels. Pixels will work just in the case you have tested. Pixels will work in every bizarre case you might get (like if apple launches iPad 3 with full retina display, which will give you more than 2.000px wide screen, but still in “mobile” category).

    “I also think it’s hilarious that Google is going to punish for too many above-the-fold ads, when they are one of the worst offenders.”

    Yeah, I guess they’ll be always changing things to improve click rates.. This is just one of the plenty of moves they’ve made so far.. And I get we’ll get crazy stuff to come on this yet (with all those G+ shared info, maybe they’ll use it soon for ads placement)

    Thank for your long comment! And keep coming! :)

    []‘s

    0
  • Ian

    Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 19:30

    4

    This is the appropriate blog for anybody who desires to search out about this topic. Thanks for sharing these ideas.

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Saturday, February 4th, 2012 03:30

      6

      Hi, Thanks! :)

      I like this blog too, it’s amazing, isn’t it?

      Well, keep coming, we have amazing content every day!

      []‘s

      0
  • Tessa

    Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 12:39

    3

    Very funny. It is really a tough situation to handle such clients.

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Saturday, February 4th, 2012 03:30

      7

      Hi tessa!

      Yeah! Do you have any funny stories to share? Don’t be shy and comment :)

      []‘s

      0
  • Roman

    Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 03:47

    2

    I like how you said about clients .doc file. Yep, for some reason almost every client thinks that web development/design is as simple thing as keyboard typing. So they thinks that they can participate in developing proccess and all things they do will be right. I think most web developers are a little angry of such attitude to their job. But in other side, stop be angry and just teach your client, explain what is your job and that it is your job and no one can help you. The main thing is to convince client that you are a pro and you know how to do better. When client understand all this thing, he will listening to you and agree with your thoughts.

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Saturday, February 4th, 2012 03:33

      9

      Hi Roman,

      This is the same feeling I have. Even little more experienced clients trend to undervaluate our job. Teaching stuff to clients is the best way to get them evolved without doing crazy stuff, indeed!

      I totally agree with you!

      Thanks!
      []‘s

      0
  • Tim

    Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 02:35

    1

    “Design fluid, responsive layouts, then the size doesn’t matter.”
    The problem is, I’ve never seen one of these that looks good on a phone. Go to CSS Tricks or go here: http://mediaqueri.es/
    The small sites just don’t cut it. They all look…dumb.
    Also, what’s the point of having a phone that can view full websites if you never want to view a full website?
    For ad banners, you have to design at a specific size. If anything, those banners are expanding to be larger when they are clicked on using html5 animation.

    As far as pixels vs inches, you have to use pixels. The answer is not neither. Especially if you actually are designing for a responsive layout. You have to give media queries based on the pixel size of your browser window. And you have to build different websites for that specific pixel size (or more properly stated, a range of pixels between the “cutoff” sizes). Browsers and CSS measure elements in pixels, and unless you are building your entire site using Flash or SVG, so do you.

    I also think it’s hilarious that Google is going to punish for too many above-the-fold ads, when they are one of the worst offenders.

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Saturday, February 4th, 2012 03:31

      8

      Oh, sorry Tim, my reply is right above

      0

Comments are closed.

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