1) Delay your first draftTo make your client begin to doubt whether he should have chosen you as his designer, start to really take your sweet time with your mockups as you set off the development process in earnest. If you’d really like to sugar coat it, keep giving your client excessively optimistic estimates about getting the project done in just a matter of weeks. Go from ensuring your client that you’re highly excited to get the site design or redesign project underway, to taking several weeks before you email him your first mockups of the new design iteration. Then, to add insult to injury, drag your feet just a little bit longer when your client asks (and know that he’ll always ask) you for some tweaks and minor changes to the initial mockup you sent over.
2) Re-prioritise your scheduleNow that you’ve planted the seeds of doubt in your client’s head, you’re well on your way to getting fired. If the project you were contracted for should last through holidays like Christmas, be sure to neglect the project for the entirety of the holidays. After all, your priorities during festive seasons should be on things like recreation and hanging out with your friends or family. Never mind the fact that your client already paid you a hefty retainer…which you’re already using. Then, perhaps because you’ve experienced a small pang of guilt, finally send your client an update email raising his hopes that maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to get the project done by the holiday’s end. Of course, to stay consistent with your plan to drive off your client in anger, make sure that you break this promise, too, as it was only ever false hope anyway!
3) Make the site live with blatant errorsWhen my old designer finally had a “finished” version of my old site ready to go live, approximately four months after the project began, he presented me with a site that had obvious problems that he apparently didn’t notice. That’s because he couldn’t have cared less. If he would’ve given his final creation at least the once-over, he would’ve noticed glaring issues like:
- broken links;
- images with uneven borders;
- lack of responsive design.
4) Refuse to correct the problemsBy now, you’ve very likely angered your client, and he’s likely not to come back to you for anything. To put the final nail in the coffin of your professional relationship with your client, simply never reply to his emails or text messages asking you to fix the glaring problems with the finished site. It doesn’t matter if the contract you and your client signed, as well as follow-up emails, expressly stated that you’d handle minor revisions. Just go for broke at this point!
5) Overpromise, then under-deliverNeedless to say, after my old designer finally did what he was supposed to do, and got paid for it beforehand, too, he wasn’t going to work with me anymore. I cut contact with him right after that and began looking for a new web designer/developer in 2014. Thankfully, I did find a highly talented and extremely professional designer in late 2014. My current site design is his great work. He’ll also maintain my site through the years, as well as handle any necessary site updates to respond to SEO concerns going forward. Looking back on this nightmarish experience that really tested my patience on so many levels, I can say that my old designer’s problem was overpromising to put my mind at ease and hook me in—and then completely under-delivering on so many occasions. To put it into perspective, my old designer took about four months for a redesign while my new designer took a couple of weeks. The difference between the two is work ethic (or lack thereof) and pride in one’s work (or lack thereof). In conclusion, just follow all the steps my old designer took if you want to provoke your clients and drive them away for good. I’m sure that, after you do that to enough clients, you won’t have a viable design business for long. Featured image, fired image via Shutterstock.
Marc’s a copywriter who covers design news for Web Designer Depot. Find out more about him at thegloriouscompanyltd.com.
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