Client-Developer Relationship - Demystified

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Handshake screenshot
No front-end project is considered successful, unless the client-developer relationship is nurtured in good spirits from both the ends. Sometimes, absence of common sense from either side ruins a flourishing project, prematurely. This is a sensitive subject and I'll try my best to do justice for both the sides. There's so much of psychology involved whenever 'relationships' come into play. Let's calmly try to decipher this not so complex scenario.

Assumptions are the termites of relationships - Henry Winkler

So, let's get started and start with the developer's end to understand the dynamics of his views and expectations when working with a client.

Developer's Perspective

As I'm myself a front-end developer, I'll start with how one perceives his relationship with a client. A good developer loves to get a client who has good listening skills and is ready to consider or ponder over former's suggestions.

Problem arises, when a client takes the driving seat, when it comes to designing a website. Another important factor is the compensation agreed upon. Getting peanuts for doing a considerable amount of work is not what anyone would want. If a client asks for a 'GREAT' web designer for cheap, just stay away.

A good client...
  • is able to quantify the cost, whenever a reasonable quote is given.
  • explains his requirements in a clear fashion.
  • is ready to listen.
  • understands the scope of the project.
  • actively fulfills developer's requests (data, files, media).
  • proactively gives feedback.
  • acknowledges dedication of the developer.
  • knows the primary goal of his website.
Well, that sums up everything. To keep things short and sweet, let's hop on to the other side of the hedge.

Client's Perspective

And, now we'll talk about how a client may perceive his relationship with a web developer. Smart clients can easily differentiate between good and bad front-end developers.

In a nutshell, if a developer is desperate in his approach and is cold calling with low rates, it is a clear signal he is going to give you crap in return. Another one can boast of his extraordinary skills talking technical jargon which you may not understand. Just keep away from him because a good one talks in layman's language when interacting with his clients.

A good developer...
  • neither quotes too low nor too high.
  • listens and understands.
  • clearly outlines terms & conditions, beforehand.
  • has a good turn around time.
  • proactively gives suggestions for a higher converting design.
  • do not fret when asked for a reversion or a tweak (within project limits).
  • knows how to explain technical jargon in simple language.
  • value customers even after project completion.
So, that sums up the views, perceptions and expectations of both the sides. Feel free to share your experiences (good or bad), no matter which side you were on while going through a custom web design project.
Image Credits: SCY, licensed under Creative Commons