What Makes a Good Designer/Client Relationship

Whether you’re a web designer, or you’re looking to hire one it is important to make sure you understand what makes a good designer/client relationship. In far too many cases people on both sides of this type of relationship make common mistakes which cause unnecessary conflict, and can actually ruin what could have otherwise been a mutually beneficial relationship. Understanding these common mistakes, as well as learning what types of things will help any designer/client relationship will help ensure every design project goes as smoothly as possible.

Building a Great Relationship

The following are a few things that can be done to help improve the relationship between a designer and a client. Keeping these tips in mind whenever working on a design project can help prevent miscommunication and conflict.

Honesty is Essential

Whenever communicating with each other it is important to be honest about everything. While this may seem obvious, both clients and designers too often attempt to stretch the truth in order to either make the sale or try to smooth over potential problems. This often leads to bigger issues in the future, which could have been avoided by simply being honest about it from the beginning.

Frequent Milestones

Whenever possible set up regular milestones to make sure the project is progressing to the satisfaction of both parties. These check-in points can help identify problems early on so they can be easily corrected rather than waiting until the project is completed and requiring extensive corrections.

Written Instructions

Whether the client provides the written instructions, or the designer writes down their understanding of what they will be doing after a meeting, having written instructions is important. When people can read exactly what is being done on a project they will be able to quickly identify misunderstandings or problems and get them fixed before it causes any unnecessary stress.

Things to Avoid

There are also some important things which should be avoided to ensure there aren’t any problems. The following items can cause problems, even if that wasn’t the intent of either party.

Making Assumptions

Assuming the other party will do something or understands something can lead to major issues. If you’re ever not sure about anything in the project, just take a moment to get clarification.


If something isn’t going well in the project it is never good to accuse someone of intentionally doing something wrong or being poor at their job. In the vast majority of cases everyone involved in the project wants it to succeed so any problems are likely related to misunderstandings or confusion. Taking the time to understand how and why something happened can help to keep a small problem from turning into a major conflict.

Placing Blame

When a project is ongoing it is never productive to try to place blame for something that doesn’t go perfectly. Working toward a solution to any issues is much more important, and once the problem is solved it is often unimportant who was right and who was wrong anyway.

Whenever working with other people there will be problems and misunderstandings. With design projects this is particularly common because each person might have a different idea in their head about what the outcome should look like. Learning what makes a good designer/client relationship can help avoid problems and get the results everyone is looking for.

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