The Funny and Bizarre World of Client Requests

by Tom Kenny (@tkenny)

For some, odd client requests are a source of frustration but for others it can serve as nice distraction. We’ve all had to deal with requests from clients that are either plain daft or simply hilarious but chances are, you haven’t seen anything until you see the vast array of demands other web designers have faced.

So with a little help from Smashing Magazine, who asked for funny client requests on Twitter and Facebook, here is a collection of the funniest and most bizarre.


Common Requests

There are some demands from clients that almost all web designers will have come across, even multiple times and because of this, they aren’t usually the funniest or most bizarre. How many have you come across?

1. Bigger Logo

Probably the most requested of all time is to make the logo bigger or more ‘prominent’. Many clients seem not to recognise branding as a whole and think that the most effective way to improve that is by increasing the size of the logo.

The logo must be a 200% bigger

Source: Paz Odone (Facebook)

2. Hatred of Whitespace

Whitespace, as we know, is a very important ingredient in web design but some clients just don’t understand this and want everything crammed up into as small a space as possible.

Can we get rid of the whitespace ? :(

Source: Juanchi Salas (Twitter)


Source: Andrea Lozano (Twitter)

3. No Concept of Time or Money

Unfortunately some people just do not understand that building large websites take time and hard work to create and demand too much without wanting to pay appropriate prices.

Do this new static website (with 100+pages) TODAY!

Source: Robert Robles (Facebook)

I need an 8-page website with a shopping cart and a blog. For $300.

Source: Brianna Young (Facebook)

4. Believing they can Design themselves

Some clients think they are helping when they suggest design ideas and others think they can design themselves. This can lead to disastrous results.

We’re a serious company but dont wanna look too serious. You should put some swirls in the design. But not too many.

Source: Andrea Lozano (Twitter)

A client telling me he was disappointed by my lack of font creativity, and cant I use something edgier like Arial?

Source: Brooke (Twitter)

5. Copying other Sites

For some strange reason, some clients think it is ok to copy a competitor’s website and/or content to use as their own. They don’t realise that when web designers ask who their competitors are, they want to know so they can make their client’s site better and stand out from the crowd.

We want it to look just like that other site, but completely different.

Source: Andrew Speers (Twitter)

I want the same website’s structure as our competitor but make it different. We don’t want to be discovered.

Source: Stephanie (Twitter)

I don’t have any content. Can you just copy stuff from some of my competitor’s pages?

Source: Tom Markart (Facebook)

Other Great Examples

How to respond when clients ask if their website can have “xxxxxx” <insert client’s fav artist/song> playing in the background!!!

Source: Ant (Twitter)


Source: Karina Setiawan (Twitter)

Biscuit colour was fine on my monitor and her monitor but on his monitor it was too pink. Therefore please take all pink out of it.

Source: Leanne Yee (Twitter)

After presenting a new design for a company website, the owner leaned over, asked if she could suggest some changes to the layout, got out a black marker and started drawing the changes on my MacBook’s screen. I was stunned.

Source: Anonymous (Clients from Hell)

Can you make it look like it’s barking? (it was a frog)

Source: Craig (Twitter)

I know we need to pay you the 30% up front before you start; but if you could just start now as we need to show progress pretty quickly and we’ll get you the advance within 2 weeks or so.

Source: Anonymous (Clients from Hell)

Don’t put much information on our web site. We don’t want our competitors to know. Um, what about customers? Oh yeah, them.

Source: Steve Morris (Twitter)

It has to be animated cause it is a web page.

Source: Adriana Atzimba (Facebook)

Can we “Jazz” it up a little more – Sure, lemme just hit the Jazz button a few times in Photoshop.

Source: Matt Lambert (Facebook)

Can we use a lighter shade of black?

Source: Myself (Twitter)


Source: Leanne Yee (Twitter)

Can you make my web site [for his business as an electrician] look like this faux-marble print stationary I bought at Staples?

Source: Andrew (Twitter)

I showed this to my wife, she thinks a shade of blue might be better…

Source: Atom Groom (Facebook)

Can you add a dropshadow? (on a black background).

Source: Josh Cleland (Twitter)

Client: You know those links across the top of the home page?

Me: You mean the navigation?

Client: Yeah, we think it makes the page too busy. So we’ve decided to just have one link called Site and when you click on it, you get one of those drop-down lists. A list of all the pages on the site. Pretty cool, huh?

Source: Anonymous (Clients from Hell)

I’m not sure about the colour that youâ’ve used for the background, I guess it looks OK on screen but when I print it on our office printer it kinda reminds me of a pair of corduroys I had as a child.

Source: Anonymous (Clients from Hell)

Why can’t we use the pages you made for my old compagny in 1992, and just change the name and logo?

Source: Johnna E. Nonboe (Facebook)

Can you make it feel like Voom Voom but without the sound.

Source: Beth Anne Quirie (Twitter)

Can you use a “clear” background on my website? No, not white. Transparent.

Source: Daniel M. Davis (Twitter)

I really don’t see why we need this [insert essential thing to balance user experience with everything else on the page you were forced to include].

Source: Sergio Castro (Facebook)

I want a back button on the web site because I don’t like the back button on the browser.

Source: Conor Sullivan (Facebook)

Comic sans would look nice.

Source: Michelle Sullivan (Facebook)

Well, I have worked with a lot of designers in my day and I am of the opinion that if you are confident in your abilities to meet my expectations then being paid at the end would be fine with you. Ultimately you are paid for the end result, right? I shouldn’t have to pay you for making the effort.

Source: Anonymous (Clients from Hell)


Source: Megan Radich (Twitter)

Can you please remove the iStockPhoto watermark on the photos? I don’t think it adds anything visually.

Source: Anonymous (Clients from Hell)

When a visitor comes to my site I want it to check and see if my software is installed and if not the site automatically installs it without asking them whether they want it or not. So they aren’t bothered.

Source: Alan Marchman (Facebook)

The unicorns don’t look realistic enough.

Source: Anonymous (Clients from Hell)

Can you use ‘zig-zag’ writing?

Source: Paul Mayor (Twitter)

Can you make the site bigger? Its looks too small on this piece of paper.

Source: Noe Ruiz (Facebook)

Why do clients make such strange demands?

Often, funny and bizarre requests can be narrowed down to pure ignorance on the clients’ end. However, some requests can be attributed purely to stupidity on the clients’ part which are often the funniest. Usually the requests are of a personal desire rather than seeing things from the users’ point of view and what they would want and need.

What funny and/or bizarre requests have you received from clients?

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by Tom Kenny

I’m a freelance web designer and front-end developer with 9 years of experience designing for the web. Follow me on Twitter here.