Can we help the client not get stuck on Visual Details?

I guess we’ve all been through this – you put all your effort into creating a great new feature that the client has requested, double-check everything to ensure that the requirements are met, work late hours to get it done on time even though the timelines were a complete joke and finally show the demo to the client.  You stand back and await the obvious gratitude that must follow the delivery of such a fantastic piece of software…

Could you move that button to the right?

We’ve all been through that right?  Clients tend to get stuck on visual and minor details – telling them that the data they are seeing was put together simply to have something there doesn’t make a difference.  Asking a client to focus on the functional details is almost like asking Windows to give you an accurate estimation on the duration of a file copy – it’s not going to happen.  This is the very reason why sites like Lorem Ipsum exist – to try and get the client not to focus on the visual details.

Remove all Visual Styling

What we tried on the last project I worked on (a web-based project) was to remove all visual styling.  That’s right – the first thing I did was to delete the stylesheet that is included with every new MVC project.  This meant the website looked so completely devoid of any visual stimulus that the client was forced to focus on the functional aspects – which is exactly what you want.

While this won’t work for all clients (many clients will simply refuse to evaluate the project until the visual design is completed) it worked amazingly well on this project.  It seems like a pretty simple solution but I would definitely recommend it.