Hi. So, for the last week I’ve been working on a website for a new music artist that my cousin is now working with. Normally, I work on these types of sites until my brain is spewing code in its sleep and I’m driven completely stir crazy. Naturally, all those things happened. And in one of my many periods of annoyances, I said mostly to myself (though I did mention it to mother) that little known quotes from a certain Pixar movie: You don’t know what you want. Luigi know what you want.
And I say this to reinforce a generalization. Typically, when you work on a commissioned work–any work that someone pays you to do for them–you have to do things the way they wish it to be done. Sometimes, you have sacrifice certain values because you are being paid to create your work of art for someone else, and generally no one will pay you (or be happy) with a work that they didn’t like. Normally, I’m okay with this compromise if the negotiated change is something that I deem good. If you want me to change a certain font to another one that I approve of, then yes, we are in agreement and the font is changed.
What gets me is when certain customers (I guess I can call them that?) want something that looks good changed, because they don’t like it for any reason, into something that doesn’t look good at all. Especially when it comes to some sort of visual art and design, when a customer wants a change like this, it hurts me deeply. Because they are so adamant that their choice is great (granted, beauty is in the eye of the beholder) but generally, their design choice is very poor.
Now, I may not have much experience in web design (professional experience that is) but I can tell you when a certain photo looks good or not compared to the one before it. I had made a header for this site that the artist didn’t like. The alternative was a photo that I couldn’t work with, because it was a horrible photo compared to the others in the set. But I appeased them and put up a new header, even though I didn’t like it at all. In the process, I requested new photos to work with (which I eventually got and then made a new header from new photos that I liked much better), but all the while I could help repeating to myself: You don’t know what you want, Luigi know what you want.
Because generally it is true.