Interesting debate - in the case of a customer's taste, are they always right? Even if it means said taste might come back to bite them in the future? (NAR or NAW story?)

Hey, all!

I’ve enjoyed reading the comments on this story:

I am trying to determine if this story is NAR or NAW. Does the taste of the customer outweigh the professional experience of the OP who is trying to get the customer the best product based on their requirements?

Basically is the customer right here? What do you think?

1 Like

As a designer: Yeah at the end of the day it’s their funeral. You can lead a horse to water and whatnot.
The job is to make what the client wants. You can advise and discourage certain actions, but the final decision is theirs to agree to or veto. Even if it’s ugly. (Just cover your butt with paperwork and signed approvals if it backfires.)

But I mean, if you have it written in the client expectations and contracts, you can also just decline to continue of the client is bothersome or their asks will ruin your reputation. Or if you just think you won’t be the best fit for what they’re looking for.

It should require mutual agreement at the end of the day.

But I think that’s fine as NAR because they’re complaining about a client insisting on eyebleed websites. (That’s what Clients from Hell is for anyway, right?) Because as a designer MAN people don’t understand about design or usability and pick random godawful colors.


Yeah, sometimes the client has to learn the hard way that their ideas are rubbish, before they’d be willing to take the advice of a professional designer.

However, at the end of the day, if the client’s personal taste is not your personal taste, so be it.

If they know exactly what they want, then you should probably do what they ask. If they’re a bit lost, that’s where your expertise can shine.


If the attitude of OP was different, it would be NAR. The client wanted something truly garish and may well hurt to look at.

But the client showed the OP what the client wanted, and the OP changed it to what the OP thought was better. THAT is so wrong.

It may well be that these bright colour combinations are the brand that the client wants associated with them. Take the artist Grayson Perry for example.

Bright shiny dresses and colour combinations that no sane person would want to wear are what Grayson wears. It works for Grayson, and it’s all part of their image. Similarly the oufits that Elton John is best known for.

As was pointed out in the comment section, the full quote of “The customer is always right in matters of taste” definitely applies here.



I asked a Tattoo artist whether they had ever refused a design they thought was ridiculous. They told me no, at the end of the day they run a business and money is money. It always seemed a bit short sighted to me though, it might be a bit far fetched but if I saw somebody with an absolutely awful tattoo and learned where it came from I can’t say that I’d be keen to get any ink done there myself.


As a copywriter and as someone who has done extensive research about what works and doesn’t work in website design, if I had been OP I would have gently suggested why what she did would not work. I mean she might like what the website looks like but the point is to keep people on their website. Therefore if the website requires someone to wear sunglasses while viewing said website, chances are that the business isn’t going to go very well.


I agree. I basically said the same thing as a copywriter.



When you get hired to do a job you dont get to make changes the customer doesn’t approve, you can suggest them, can explain why they are a good idea, but at the end of the day you work for them, you are making something for them and their taste, or lack thereof in your opinion is what matters.


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