Actually… being a designer doesn’t suck.

Designing for imbeciles is what really sucks. And unfortunately, I’ve been stuck with several of them lately.

Dummy #1

He had seen a previous project we did for another client and liked it. Upon their recommendation, they contacted us. It was all very simple. Create a logo, then a website. Well, it all started poorly with the logo. Our interaction went something like this:

Dummy: Can you make me a hamburger?

Me: Here’s your hamburger.

Dummy: No, that’s not really what I wanted. Can you make me a hot dog?

Me: Here’s your hot dog.

Dummy: No. I don’t think you’re getting it. Maybe I’m not being clear enough. I want a slice of pizza.

Me: Here’s your pizza.

Dummy: NO. I’m not quite sure what the problem is. I thought I was quite clear when I said I wanted a burrito. Here is a picture of a tuna fish sandwich that I drew in PowerPoint. I want you to use that as the basis for the calzone I wanted you to make.

Me: Here’s you calzone.

Dummy: I’m sorry, this just isn’t working out. We seem to not be on the same page.

So Dummy #1 is out of the picture. First time I’ve ever been booted off of a project. EVER. On the one hand, I’m glad to be rid of the guy, he was the most difficult client I’ve ever dealt with. And he was quite abrasive to deal with as well. On the other hand, I hate negative rep, and you never know who this guy may end up talking to, saying that we suck. On the other hand, dealing with him for the rest of this project would have probably caused me to renew my Nexium prescription.

Click the link below to see the second dummy story.

Dummy #2

This is a techie IT guy. I presume he’s used to talking with other techie IT guys all day, and just assumes that everybody knows what he’s talking about. When he has to explain what it is he wants he get a little fiesty. So last week me and one of the other designers here had to talk to him so he could explain what he wanted on a graphic, because nobody else in the chain could understand what he wanted.

So we go meet him and he launches into this speech about servers, and backups, and tapes, and *this* server is backing up *that* server, but they aren’t even in the same location! At some point he stops his speech and says he needs the three graphics showing the three different levels. Got it?

Um, no.

Dummy: I just need to show the Gagoogidy Environment and the connection to the backup in level one. Then show the same thing to the backup in level two. Then show the same thing again to the backup in level three. Got it?

Before I even address the fact that the description of all three graphics sounds EXACTLY the same, I glance over at the other designer to see if he knows… he doesn’t… so I ask.

Me: What is the Gagoogidy Environment?

Dummy: The Gagoogidy Environment. [slight pause] But maybe we can show a simplified version of it. This is too complex [holds up a graphic that looks like a plate of calamari with servers in it]. How far can we simplify it?

Me: Well, we really don’t know what a Gagoogidy Environment is… So you’re going to have to tell us what you want to show. From our perspective, we can just make a box that says “Gagoogidy Environment” in it and that is as simple as we can go. But I don’t know if that is enough information to get your point across. I can’t simplify that diagram [me pointing at calamari] because I don’t know what is significant in it.

Dummy: OK. Well, lets just use a box with some servers in it and label it “Gagoogidy Environment”. And then just make three levels. Got it?

Me: No.

Dummy: [blank look]

Me: You’re going to have to tell us what you want on each level.

Dummy: I just need to show the Gagoogidy Environment and the connection to the backup in level one. Then show the same thing to the backup in level two. Then show the same thing again to the backup in level three. Got it?

Me: [pulls out a sheet of paper] Let’s start from the top. Here’s the Gagoogidy Environment… And here’s the backup…

Dummy: The gaflavity backup.

Me: The gaflavity backup. OK. And that’s it?

Dummy: [Looking at me like I’m an idiot] Don’t forget the gashmoygadied backup and the googus backup.

Me: mmkay. Here’s the Gagoogidy Environment connected to the gaflavity backup, the gashmoygadied backup, and the googus backup. Thats it?

Dummy: Yep. Now we just need level two and level three. Got it?

Me: No. [pulls out another sheet of paper] So on this one we have the Gagoogidy Environment and the… gaflavity backup?

Dummy: No. This one has the gashmoygadied backup.

Me: No gaflavity backup? [begins crossing it out]

Dummy: Nope. I mean, you can leave it in if you want, it’s just not connected in level two.

Me: OK. And that’s it for level two?

Dummy: Nope. Don’t forget the googus backup. It’s not connected either. Now we just need level three. Got it?

Me: No. [grabs another sheet of paper]…

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