Can you imagine treating your doctor this way?
Unfortunately, this is how many web developers and software developers are treated regularly by clients.
Due to website development being a pretty new occupation, there are still a lot of people out there that do not understand what goes in to making that cool website, or that awesome online application.
I have personally been on the receiving end of some pretty ridiculous and outright stupid requests by clients.
It is so common, that sites like Clients From Hell are able to exist and be filled with stories which at first seem totally fictional. But they are not.
But go and speak to someone who works in web development and ask them about horror clients. Every one of them will have a story to tell you.
My theory is that because the average person only sees the front end of websites, they have no idea of the coding work and time it takes to create a good web product. They do not get to “look under the hood” and see all the scripts, calls, CSS styles, etc.
If they did, there would be more understanding that this is REAL work, not just a hobby people do on computers in their spare time.
(Also, many “discount” operators such as outsourced development teams & unqualified designers help to perpetuate a myth that this work is cheap & easy to do)
Think about industries where customers have a better understanding of who the end result is produced:
- Customers would not tell a mechanic to throw in free extras just because they are in the engine anyway.
- Clients would not ask an architect to totally redesign a building plan once it is done, by 9am the next day, because their 6yr old son did not like it.
- House painters are not asked to re-paint a house for free, because the colour now looks different when viewed in the morning sun.
- Lawyers are not asked to work on a case for free, just because it may look good in their resume later.
Sadly, elements of all these things exist within the current client-web developer dynamic.
I, for one, hope this changes soon.