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Thumbnails - Web Developer

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Previous Entry Thumbnails Mar. 13th, 2006 @ 10:22 am Next Entry
There's this ecommerce site I created a while ago and all the item thumbnails nicely flow on the page thanks to CSS. The number of items in each row is not fixed and flows to the width of the user's screen. In my opinion this makes very efficient use of screen real estate and therefore maximizes the number of items someone can see at one time.
A different site than the one in question, but I used the same technique.
Well lately on two other sites two people who are basically computer illiterate fail to appreciate the elegance of this solution.
A-The number of items much be the same on each row.
Sorry that is unreasonable and only possible if that category has an even number of items. The say that they understand and then when an item is added or removed from the store there an "emergency". This person calls the IT guy at 6 on Friday to say that there's a major problem with the ____ site that the last row only has one item! I have tried to help explain this and they just don't want to accept the fact that they just don't grasp how this sort of thing should work.
B-If a category only has two items then they must have larger thumbnails or centered, they look too "lonely".
I really just plain don't know how or why to solve this "problem" except that there shouldn't be a separate category for just two items. The company won this award and they have two special items to promote this and they insist on these items having their own special category. My point is that categories should be created with the intent of allowing the users to find items easily, not so much as a marketing tool. The one item is already a large image featured on the home page, so it is unlikely that the site's visitors will miss that item.
I usually am pretty good at simplifying explanations for things like this, but I am just stumped on a definitive reasoning behind why I have done things the way I've done them—the correct way as I see it.
Current Mood: lost
Current Music: Nightmares On Wax-Spliff Sessions 27-70s/80s (RJD2 Remix)
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From:jabber
Date:March 13th, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC)
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Looks like your problem is not technical, but rather with your clients' understanding of integer division. Ignorant clients are almost impossible to please. That said, the customer is always right. Have you asked them what they would like to see? Engge them in a Socratic dialog of "ok, and what happens if you add one more item next week?"

One way I've dealt with similar client issues was to barrage them with so many inane questions that they just gave up trying to dictate details.

Do you have approved specifications for look and feel?
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From:jdnnj
Date:March 13th, 2006 05:47 pm (UTC)
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The people I am dealing with really can't grasp even simple concepts. I have tried doing the "what happens" line of questioning and I get "Well how am I supposed to know, you're the designer!" Well if I'm the designer that knows the answers why are you arguing whether I am correct or not.
This is more a personal issue than a true web design question as you've figured out. Though I would like to find a site or a chart or something that gives an answer that she can either be intimidated by or trust or something.
I have had approval on the look and feel of the site for some time now, this problems has only cropped up upon the client's insistence of adding a category of only two items.
Thanks for your input, this is one of those dumb situations that just doesn't have a simple answer. You want to tell me how to do my job, but then when I ask how I could accomplish that you don't know how.

http://realworldstyle.com/thumb_float.html
http://www.gap.com/browse/category.do?cid=12119
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From:karma_phala
Date:March 13th, 2006 11:03 pm (UTC)
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Of course, there's no good answer to this. But, for what it's worth, I'm having similar problems with a client of mine. In addition to that, we're having issues because they don't understand how email works -- what I mean is, a web-based form versus a mailto link. They use aol, so I guess that explains it. It's a neverending struggle to make things work with these sorts of people.
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From:jdnnj
Date:March 13th, 2006 11:21 pm (UTC)
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It's like they question everything and then argue with you. If they had one minute clue about how things worked they wouldn't have posed the question in the first place. Unfortunately this isn't a client of mine directly, it's a large account that's handled by a sales rep. The keep saying they are going to deal with things, but then they never do and the client is constantly calling or emailing me, acting like they are my boss.
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