Hi, folks. I'm senior writer and editor at the IT Business Network (http://www.itbusinessnet.com), and I'm working on an article for which I'd like your help.

Anyone who runs a small business shares certain kinds of frustrations, from slow-paying clients (who don't let that keep them from expecting you to drop everything to serve their slightest whim), to the effort to keep up with one's chosen technology at the same time you need to generate billable hours. However, there are always unique challenges for each profession, and at the moment I'm looking at professional web developers and web designers.

In particular: what misconceptions do your clients seem to share? What wrong expectations do they have, particularly when they first approach your company? Are there differences between different categories of client (i.e. when the marketing staff approaches you, they expect one thing, but if an IT person makes the call, they want something else)? In other words: give me a list of things that you wish your client knew or understood BEFORE he or she picked up the phone. And tell me why those items are on the list. It's the "why" that is always the most interesting. Anecdotes are especially welcome. After all, everybody likes to hear about horror stories, especially when they can learn from someone else's experience.

I'm hoping to turn this into advice for companies and IT departments who are considering acquiring the services of professional web people (that would be YOU). Depending on the nature of the responses I get, over the next few days (I'm hoping to write this article by the end of the week), it may become "7 things you should know before you redesign your web site," or it might turn into something similar to an earlier article, "Can DBAs and Programmers Ever Get Along?" (http://enterpriseapps.itbusinessnet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=37828)

Ideally, I'd like to quote you in the article. If that's okay, please be sure to let me know (privately, if necessary) your real name, title, affiliation, and geographic location (i.e. "Esther Schindler is a web designer at Foo Corporation in Scottsdale, Arizona -- www.whatever.com"). If you can't be quoted directly, let me know that, too; if your remarks are pithy enough, we can find a way around it ("Esther is a web designer at a west coast design firm").

Anyway, feel free to respond here -- I'm sure the topic will be of interest to others! -- but if you prefer, you can write to me privately at esthers@digitalmedianet.com.

Esther Schindler
senior writer and site editor, IT Business Network

FYI, The article is live:

Becoming Clueful: What You Should Know Before You Redo Your Web Site
Five tips on what businesses should expect from their web designers and developers
Calibrate your expectations. Web professionals offer their advice on what you really should understand before you pick up the phone to call them. Doing so can save you time, money, and frustration.

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