I hate when people say they need a “Rockstar” or “Ninja” anything. Example: “We’re looking for a Rockstar Web Developer!” It’s cheesy, unprofessional, out-dated, and even seems a bit condescending. It’s time that we just be relaxed and straightforward in business. No need for fluff.
I Want to Watch You Work O_O
I hate when people demand that you’re local to them in order to work with you. Any job done over the web can be done remotely, period. Most of all, working from home is part of the perks of what us freelancers are all about in the first place.
It can’t serve any purpose, but to actually get in the way of workflow. I actually had a potential client request to come to my home once and watch quietly as I worked. Yeah, that’ll be productive, productively awkward.
It shouldn’t be about finding someone local (why would you limit yourself). It should be about finding the best candidate for the project. I’ve worked with people all around the world based on their portfolios and communication, not their geographical location.
If You’re a REAL Professional it Should Only Take You 10 Minutes
I hate when people assume how difficult something is and subsequently, how much it should cost. Unless you know, you don’t know. I’ve had clients tell me how easy something is and how much it should cost more times than I’d like to remember. I remember one disgruntled client arguing with me that the project shouldn’t require graphics (because they didn’t want to pay) and that I should just “punch in the code” to make it work.
Trust: Where Are You?
I hate when people assume they know best about your profession. Also, when clients cannot think about their users and only think about what they want:
Client: “I want a really cool Flash intro; can you do that?”
Me: “I can, but no, I won’t do that. I don’t want to do anything to hurt you or your website.”
Client: “What do you mean?”
Me: “Users hate Flash intros. There are so many reasons. It keeps them from getting to the content, even if there’s a skip button, they will be very annoyed and you risk them simply clicking back. Also, Flash is slow, you risk losing trust from users with slower connections, not to mention people that don’t even have Flash installed in the first place or more likely, aren’t up-to-date with the latest version.”
…the disagreement continued. I eventually recommended maybe a homepage video in a small section instead of blocking the homepage. You never want to block the homepage, ever. If you don’t agree with that, you don’t know what you’re talking about and that’s why you’re hiring a professional web designer. So listen to them.
NDAs and NCAs for EVERYTHING
I hate when people make me sign an NDA/NCA when it really wasn’t needed. I am totally fine signing NDAs and NCAs, but it’s far and few in-between where it’s even appropriate or needed. If the project deals with software, a formula, method, ingredients, private company info, etc., I totally get it. However, you don’t need an NDA/NCA for your personal art blog.
I Can Speak Faster Than I Can Type
I hate when people demand a phone call because they think it will somehow help. That might be fine if we’re talking about car insurance or ordering take-out. But, when it comes to web-related services there is a lot of very specific details that need passing around and referencing.
Instead of me listening to you speak for an hour about the way you want your website to make people feel and trying to remember everything you’re saying and taking notes, it will always prove to be more helpful to actually write down what you want.
This is an excellent exercise in mapping out what you want and supplying the actual pertinent details: wording, links, colors, references, etc. Then, you can go over that list and see if you missed anything. That email now serves as a reference to info, expectations, and record for the project. I go more in-depth on this subject here.
I use quotations because these pet peeves mostly consist of false pros.
Piecing it All Together
I hate when people are copy and paste coders, merely using a program like Dreamweaver, but do not actually understand the code. A lot of web designers get away with providing crap work with the client never being the wiser. Just because everything looks okay on the front-end, doesn’t mean it’s quality work. On the back-end, clean and valid code is important for a number of reasons.
Clean, so that it’s understandable and readable for others that may come along and need to make changes. Valid, so that it shows your design exactly as intended across multiple browsers. Especially, so things don’t break or look really messed up in horrible, poorly designed browsers like Internet Explorer.
An SEO Around Every Corner
I hate when people use a ton of fluff to sale something for far more than it’s worth. The amount of “experts” providing search engine optimization should stand as a red flag on its own. Surprisingly enough, the ones that provide the least value are the ones also charging the most and on top of that, might be hurting your site.
They ask for a few grand, offering a whole list of things that you could probably have done yourself. Usually, they are offering to go around to different free services and punching your info in for you on your behalf. It’s a joke. Real SEO involves checking under the hood. Don’t hire an SEO unless they also understand at least basic web design, marketing, and psychology.
Stop using the current year in usernames! I could be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and on is going to roll around at some point. Hey! It might even keep going, don’t ask me, I’m no expert of time and space. The point is, your username is always going to become out-dated. And if you’re the kind of person that just creates a new email email@example.com every year, I’m sure your friends and family really appreciate having to update their contact info for you every year.
Mobile Phone Roulette
Okay, so you’ve gone through twelve different phones in the last three years because when it comes to not obliterating small technical gadgets, it’s simply not your forte. Fine, forgiven. But, every time you have to buy a new phone you don’t have to get a brand new number! Changing services? Nine out of ten times you can certainly transfer your number if you put just a little effort in. If you can’t afford to pay your bill, to the point that you lose your number completely for having your service cancelled, one word: TracFone. You don’t have to follow the crowd and have an iPhone. If you can’t afford it, you can’t afford, period.
That’s all I can think of for now. Be sure and share your own web, tech, and business related pet peeves.