Top External Frustrations of Being a Designer

Posted on October 20, 2015 | Updated on June 13, 2023


Designing websites and creating graphics requires many different abilities, including understanding elements of good design, UX research and coding skills. Designing is rewarding and you have the ability to set your own work schedule. However, there are some real frustrations of being a designer that come from external sources.

Site Load Speeds

If you’re designing a website, you know that how fast the site loads is important. Forty-seven percent of website visitors think a site should load in no more than two seconds. If it takes longer, 40 percent will bounce. That might increase a site’s bounce time and your client might ask you why so many people are fleeing their site, or worse: blame you for it.

Yes, it is important that you use optimized graphics and incorporate CSS and other design elements that allow a site to load quickly. However, you have zero control over which hosting company your client or company chooses. On top of that, other elements can impact load speeds, including the service provider a site visitor uses and whether the website utilizes CDC and caching.

Web Hosting

There are a plethora of web hosting sites out there and many charge tons of fees and often limited space. Which one is the best? InMotion VPS Hosting is a safe bet and gives several pricing options to best suit your site. A Virtual Private Server (VPS) allows a large site with hundreds of sizable files to run at an optimal level. It’s definitely something to consider if you’re having a lot of lags on your site.

Those ‘Minor’ Adjustments

Clients tend to truly underestimate how much time it takes for a designer to rework images, layouts or coding. What seems like an easy adjustment to them can take the designer hours. Nearly every designer cringes when a client says he “loves” the design, but needs to make just a few changes. What follows is typically a lengthy bullet list of time-consuming changes.

This portion of the design process is a balancing act. While the designer wants to give the client what he wants, the budget might not allow for lengthy changes.

Lack of Payment

If you’re designing for a big company, you likely don’t have this worry. However, if you’re one of the 259,000 graphic designers in the United States or one of the other 141,400 web developers who specialize in website designs, chances are you might be freelancing.

One hurdle every freelancer faces at some point is how to deal with a client that pays extremely slow or not at all. You definitely need an invoicing system to keep track of which invoices have been paid and which are outstanding. Next, don’t be afraid to contact the client via email, telephone or any other means available, such as Skype. You deserve to be paid for the work you complete.

Unavailable Client

At first glance, the client who doesn’t try to be overly involved might seem like a dream. “Just do what you think is best,” he tells you. He doesn’t interfere. He okay’s every design concept you send. Everything seems to be breezing right along.


Yes, the unavailable client almost always has an “until” moment. This is the point where he decides the entire design is wrong, or his boss chimes in and wants something totally different. As you begin to get past the concept phase and to the point where you have to add actual information, you may have a hard time dragging that information out of the client. He may leave you waiting for company data while the deadline looms closer and closer.

Although there are a few frustrations with being a designer, pursuing the art of design can be quite rewarding. Working for yourself, doing something you love, and making beautiful designs can equal a successful and rewarding design business if managed properly.

Image: Evil Erin

Related Posts

About The Author

Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her exploring the outdoors with her husband and dog in their RV, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or curled up with a good book with her cats Gem and Cali.

You can find more of Eleanor's work at


  1. Anonymous on September 26, 2016 at 1:16 am

    Nothing will ever be perfect, so don’t be afraid to put yourself and your work out there. Show your portfolio around to design teams you know at your current company and ask what they think is missing and what you could improve. Maybe your hard work and dedication to great design, as seen in your portfolio, will prompt them to offer you a position as a designer on their team. If not, no worries. You can apply to jobs externally as soon as your portfolio is in a reasonable place.

Leave a Comment