I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: web design is art. Web designers are asked to make things beautiful. We are asked to draw consumers in by creating appealing arrangements of images and text. When clients don’t have their own vision, we are asked to provide our own, and sometimes several of our own, ideas. As artists, we can be sensitive and opinionated about our work, and we have to learn to set these feelings aside in order to meet our clients’ needs. This is all to be expected. It’s part of the job.

Another part of the job is complaints! Unfortunately, we all get complaints. It’s inescapable. Some clients have unrealistic expectations, and sometimes I have a bad day or week, and things don’t get done as quickly or as well as I want them to get done. It happens.

Today I want to talk about the most commonly received client complaints. Honestly, I receive a wide variety of complaints. I’m only going to mention the most common complaints because I think they’ll be the most relatable. Without further ado, here they are:

“You’re taking too long to finish the project.”

Admittedly, in a few rare cases, the client has a legitimate complaint because I’ve decided to take a few days off, and I’ve fallen a little behind on my work. Or I’ve received a giant job from a new client with a lot of future potential, and I’ve prioritized that new client over existing clients. This is an extremely rare case. It has happened maybe once or twice, ever.Usually, this complaint is a case of unreasonable expectations. For the most part, I complete work in the order that it’s received. If a client sends me a request, that client enters the queue. I can’t necessarily do the work right away. Ideally, I’ve got several jobs going on at the same time. This means that I’m going to get complaints from clients who aren’t willing to a wait a few days.

“There’s not enough communication.”

I got this complaint a lot at the beginning of my freelance career. People tend to be less trusting of freelancers, and they need regular reassurance that their projects are being worked on. I’ve been able to greatly reduce the number of “communication” complaints I’ve received by taking the time to send a quick email to active clients each day, informing them of any updates to their projects, or letting them know where they are in the queue. While no client wants to hear that it’s going to be another week before you can get to his or her project, silence is an even worse scenario.

“I don’t have enough control.”

This is a complaint that I get after I’ve completed a project. Even if I got through without receiving the first two complaints, there’s always a chance that the client will come back some time after the job was completed and ask for some changes to be made. At this point, maybe a few months or even a few years have passed. Sometimes, at this point, the client wants the keys to the kingdom so that he or she can make changes without me. Good luck! If you were a web designer, you wouldn’t have hired me in the first place.

If a client is going to want to have control of the site in the future, this is something that I need to know at the beginning of the job; then I can build it on a platform that is a little more beginner-friendly. Otherwise, by the time a client complains, it’s kind of too late. Sorry!

I hope that list wasn’t too infuriating for those of you who deal with similar complaints on a regular basis! Please be reassured that you are not alone, and you may not even be at fault for a lot of these complaints. Just keep on keeping on. You’re doing great!

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