You're doing it wrong.
March 21, 2013 1:22 PM Subscribe
I make websites. I have an old client whose new vendor is, to be blunt, not a competent web designer and not a developer at all. She has been coming to me for help, and it's putting me in quite an awkward situation. How can I remove myself at all gracefully?
posted by anonymous to human relations (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
While I was out of my area for a couple of years, an old client hired a new designer to redesign the website I built for them with WordPress in 2006.
A year ago, this designer came to me with questions that suggested she had no business building a website for anyone. I suggested at the time that perhaps she would like to design the look and feel, and I could write the front-end code. She wasn't into it.
In the intervening year, the few contacts I had with her simply reinforced my initial impression. Here was a person who did not have the skills or interests to adequately do the job she'd been hired to do. I've tried to be as helpful as I could. I've certainly felt helpless.
We are closing in on launch, and the final product of a year's worth of efforts is, in a word, awful. I personally think the visual design is underwhelming, but my subjective view there is irrelevant. Not in the realm of opinion though, is the sloppy, hackish, inefficient, and ugly code sitting under the surface. It pains me.
Now I am being asked for help again – this time to take the monstrosity live. I definitely won't do it, but I feel the need to justify, to this designer and to my old client, why I refuse to be involved.
My feelings are no doubt colored by disappointment that my work is being retired. Were it being replaced by something as good or better however, I would have no problem. But it is being replaced by something terrible and broken.
I care about this profession, and I definitely resent that there are so many people out there doing it poorly. It's depressing that most small website owners can't tell the difference between good work and bad. My own work is surely not perfect, but I go to great lengths to stay current and understand what I'm doing – including what I'm doing wrong.
I want to yell at this designer for ripping off my old client, people I care about, and for learning on their dime without apparently learning anything. I want to run to the client and warn them about the shoddy product they're being sold. The whole thing makes me sad and angry, and want to behave like a sad, angry person.
But I'm a grown-up, and I still have to live and do business in this small world.
I'm just having a hard time figuring out the grown-up thing to do.