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Top 10 Lies That Digital Nomads Tell Their Design Clients

June 3, 2015

In our recent article The Rise of the Digital Nomad [How To Have An International Lifestyle] we looked at the amazing range of opportunities that now exist for people who want to be able to work from their laptop anywhere in the world.

Since then, we’ve discovered a funny article on the online design marketplace, Creative Market, which revealed a long list of lies designers tell their clients.

Today we’re going to share the top ten fibs that these naughty digital nomad designers use from their laptops somewhere out there in the world. Similar to our article on the ASA’s 30,000+ advertising complaints in 2013, we’re not referring to ourselves with any of these!

(You can see the entire list here).

1 – The Remote Embellishment

LieWe are a prestigious web design agency.
TruthIt’s just me on my laptop at home in my underwear.

When working from home, or the beach, or wherever you happen to be, you’re probably not relying on your appearance or personal hygiene to make sales. Naturally, you already have a professional website and personal profiles, so who cares if you haven’t worn anything other than pyjamas for almost two weeks?

It’s only a white lie, and as far as we’re concerned it’s fully possible to be both prestigious and semi-clothed.

2 – Taking One For The Team

LieThe finished product took a bit longer than the initial quote.
TruthAll your crazy changes made this way more expensive.

When being nice to a customer is more important than being honest, it sometimes pays (quite literally) to avoid direct confrontation.

This is what white lies were created for.

3 – Get Out Of Jail Free Card

LieI’m swamped and not taking on extra projects right now.
TruthYou’re a terrible client and I just can’t handle you this week.

Proving the old “customer is always right” mantra to be totally untrue, clients reflect wider society as a whole – some of them can be annoying. With this lie, you can avoid taking on stress, and probably anger, by using your remote position to your advantage.

The client can’t see your schedule. They don’t even know you’re only wearing your underpants. So, how could they ever know you’re lying about it?

4 – Killing Them Softly

LieYour current site is pretty good, but it needs some work.
TruthOh god, my eyes, my eyes!

Let’s be honest, just like children, websites can only be truly loved by their creators (just kidding!). Between the loud, unstoppable noises, annoying colours and frankly ridiculous navigation, children vary quite a lot – but a bad website is a bad website by anyone’s standard.

Except the owner, of course, so tread gently. If the original designer is also in the conversation, just don’t get involved. It’s not worth it.

5 – The Dog Almost Ate My Homework

LieI stayed up all night working on this design.
TruthI threw it together at 3am after a Breaking Bad marathon.

It seems the very same issues that plague us throughout our school and college years stick around much longer in life than we’d like. Then, it was homework, but now it just feels like homework.

Back then, it may have been the infamous Leaving Cert destroying Championship Manager or a box-set of your favourite TV show on actual DVDs. Nowadays, it’s a lot easier to get distracted as the very same device on which you work can stream movies, play some quite serious games, and lead you down a rabbit-hole of irrelevant internet superfluity before you realise it’s long past your bedtime.

6 – Hey, It’s Your Money You’ve Wasted

LieYou’re right, it looks much better this way.
TruthYou totally ruined it, but hey, it’s your money.

Similar to number 4, this lie involves sparing the feelings of your client, but with added danger – it’s your work they’re interfering with!

It should be used only as a last resort, when the client’s desire to feel part of a process in which they have no place, right or talent beats all other considerations – even your own professional reputation.

7 – Flatter And Deceive

LieYou always get top priority.
TruthRight after all my good clients.

The beauty of this one is that you can use it as often as you like, with as many clients as you like.

It’s venturing into the world of corporate jargon, thinking outside the box being a disruptive win-win at the end of the day, but can still be a powerful phrase when used liberally and as often as possible.

8 – A Creative Interpretation of Time Itself

LieI’m uploading the finished design right now.
TruthI’m way late and rushing to finish it as we speak.

This one seems a blatant lie, but occasionally emails don’t get delivered instantly, so at a stretch you could call it simply “predicting near-future situations with a built-in margin of error”.

No, you’re not quite uploading the finished piece, but by the time your client reads your message or hears the voicemail, you very well could be. So it might not be lying at all, just creative.

And you’re being paid to be creative, correct?

9 – Reinterpreting Truth

LieWe’re an internationally recognised firm.
TruthI had one client who lived in Canada.

If marketing folk can get away with massaging words to convey a specific message, surely designers and digital nomads can do the same?

Would your single overseas client recognise you? Probably not. Would they recognise your company? Possibly, but more than likely they wouldn’t, and can only recall the name by searching through their emails. Regardless, this technically isn’t a lie, so go for it.

10 – Imaginary Icing On The Cake

LieThe Golden Ratio makes the design perfectly proportioned.
TruthPretending I understand this math(s) makes me look smart.

This is our favourite because every single person can understand (and remember) using terms and concepts they don’t fully understand to make themselves feel good, in the full knowledge the person they’re talking to has no idea what it is either.

This example is based on the Golden Ratio. In mathematical terms, two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. Got it?

In design, it’s often an attempt to replicate patterns and ratios as they appear in nature, and it’s genuinely fascinating and mind-boggling to see the phenomenon in action. You can read more about that right here.

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