when a project goes wrong, make lemons out of lemonade

Have you ever promised that you could deliver something just to sign a client? Perhaps you quoted said client an impossibly fast turnaround time or maybe you embellished a little when you pitched your home based business as a "prestigious design agency?"  We've all told them...those little white lies that don't usually matter, except for when they actually do.

What Happens When a Project Goes Wrong & How to Turn a Negative into a Positive Experience. A True Story From the Trenches by jgdigital.co

So, here's the truth...I recently found myself in an uncomfortable situation with a client. I had promised this client that we could successfully add "movement" to his website. With all of the slideshow gallery options and parallax scrolling features we had access to, we thought this project was going to be a cinch.

Little did I know, the movement our client really wanted was animated images and unique hover effects. He wanted his site to be an experience, to stand out in a sea of event planning websites. All of which I knew was going to require a sh*t load of CSS and HTML knowledge (of which mine was limited at best.)

So, what happened next? I freaked out, of course! Nerves...nausea...the whole bit. I was terrified of getting fired, afraid of failure and worried that this one project was going to tarnish our reputation.


Instead of wallowing in my misery, I pulled up my boot straps and got Golda on the line, stat! I filled her in on exactly what had transpired and we hit the ground running with a major brainstorming session.

We had two issues that needed to be addressed:

  1. We were now way behind on this project, since starting from scratch, and would never meet the original deadline.
  2. And, most importantly, how were we going to implement the "movement" that our client had requested?

To start off, we apologized to our client profusely for being behind schedule and offered him a complimentary package of custom social media graphics for Instagram and Facebook.

Tackling the coding posed more of a challenge. Lucky for us, the Internet is a beautiful, vast place chockfull of information. So we Googled and Pinned until our fingers hurt, stockpiling an arsenal of CSS and HTML codes. Plus one fabulous hubby in the tech industry, and we were ready to roll!

Next up came the tricky part - uploading custom files, correctly inserting and editing CSS and HTML and last but not least implementing these design hacks through code and markdown blocks. Throughout the process we quickly figured out which codes worked and which ones failed; which tricks functioned beautifully on a desktop, but didn't pan out on mobile (if you didn't already know, a responsive site is must these days.)


Our research yielded some incredible resources, including Design Shak, W3 Schools, Web Designer Depot and Silva Bokis. Stay tuned as we will be sharing some of our favorite coding tips and tricks in an upcoming blog post.

We still haven't launched the site, but we can see the finish line up ahead. In fact, we received a lovely email from our client this week, letting us know that he is very happy with the overall direction of the project. So, now we find ourselves in the home stretch - making a few last revisions, dotting our I's and crossing our T's. 

In the end, it's no surprise that sometimes a project can go downhill. Sometimes, it can even crash and burn. The real test is how you handle the situation. It is important to remember that your actions can make or break a project as well as your client relationship and overall reputation. Our determination, in this case, not only allowed us to solve the issues at hand, but left us with a new arsenal of tools that we can use in the future to continue to grow our business.