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Who is the professional and who’s the Customer?

Is The Customer Always Right?

First things first we know design and marketing and we have the greatest respect for our customers.

This rose from an office conversation that sparked a little debate among us. We thought what a great (and very difficult) topic to write about!

As we all know, the customer is always right when it comes to retail. In design and marketing our clients are employing us for our skills. When we are requested to change and amend elements of our work, we will always do so without question .

Well you may think that is right way to act. What if a customer is so adamant that they want a change, but it goes against all design rules. What do you do?

Ultimately, they are paying for a product, design and marketing, and should therefore expect the change, but this piece of work is a direct reflection of you and your business?

Once added to your portfolio or gallery, this will then be on show for potential customers to see……and judge. See our design and marketing portfolio here.

Does Breaking the Design and Marketing Rules Ruin Your Image

If by changing a clients design to suit their demands breaks the first rule of graphic design 101, then what sort of impact would this have on your business?

In your defence, it’s what the customer wanted, demanded, paid for and got, but it’s broken every unwritten rule in the design book.

  • What a dilemma!
  • What would you do?

The key is to educate and guide the client in the right direction, don’t give into the demands but also don’t dismiss them.

An Education?

Explain the effects the change could have on the website or design and then look at a way it could be incorporated. By taking this approach you will include the client in the design process and make them feel like they are achieving their goal.

You see we are not only designers; we are educators, professionals, translators and negotiators who hold high regard for our work. All these skills need to be utilised in designing the ultimate product for your client.

Is it Solvable?

It will always be a real grey area, and a difficult situation to come away from still with your head (pride & dignity) held high.

  • Who does know best?
  •  Is it us designers (I would hope so!)?
  •  Is it the customer?
  • Or a combination of both (an interesting point!)

Sure, they will have a unique and personal view on how their end product wants to look……but that is all it is – a personal preference, not a professional interpretation.

Would you go see a doctor and over rule his diagnosis with your own personal opinion?

So why do clients have the right to tell us our job? It’s a tricky one!


This is a good area for debate and to be honest we believe there will never be a definitive right or wrong answers. We would like to say this though, any good design project should be outlined from the beginning and any good designer should be able to translate the client’s requirements into a design.

We always make sure our customers get the best from The DM Lab, and if we ever have a design doubt, we would always illustrate our concerns, giving the customer a visual choice comparison, with what they want, and what we would suggest.

How do you overcome or compromise in a situation like this? Please feel free to comment.

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