Craziest Client Requests

If you put a bunch of fellow e-learning designers into a room it’s bound to happen. Eventually someone shares a “you’ll never believe what this client wanted me to do” story.

From using frowning trash cans for wrong answers to adding laughing babies for correct answers (both actual requests!) sometimes clients ask us to incorporate some pretty crazy features into their courses. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever been asked to do? How did you handle it?

Thanks for sharing your story!

18 Replies
Jacinta Penn

I was asked to remove ticks and replace them with exclamation marks. I explained that this is an international sign of a warning or something gone wrong, but they insisted. There were a lot of tick marks so this took hours. After the learner review stage, we were asked to change them all back because the learners thought they had done something wrong. !!!

Trina Rimmer

Jacinta, that made me laugh out loud. I had a similar challenge with a client who thought that the square bullets in the company's branding guidelines were "too severe" and they made us change them all to round ones. Later the branding folks saw the round bullets and freaked out, prompting an eleventh hour bullet-swapping frenzy. Good times.

Jacinta Penn

I also once did something creative with a progress bar - a series of branded bottlecaps instead of just circles. Client loved it but asked me to use every one of their brand products. As you can imagine, since the whole project was already created, it was a big change. But we did it happily, client asked for it, so no problem.  1 year on, they want it all changed to plain circles.

Kevin Thorn

I get this same request more often than I care to count. "Can you add [insert flashy animated emoticon dancing widget] pointing to the Next button? We want to ensure learners know what to do."

It never ceases to amaze me that the actionable word "NEXT" somehow escapes a client's understanding of the meaning. 

Pam Robinson

I am so there.  I use a Studio player.  The training I developed was partially narrated, uses a top tab navigation style for sections and boxes for topics within the sections.  In the Navigation tips at the beginning of the course and I say that learners will use the next button to navigation within the topics.  Everyone LOVES the training...but, they want the Next button to 'glow' when its time to click it. Really??

Tiffani Nye

I use a very simple version of the Storyline 2 player - just a volume button, previous, and next buttons. I even put instructions on screen to tell the learner to hit the "NEXT" button when they're finished exploring the slide (clickable markers). I tested it out on a well-educated individual similar to the professional learners I was targeting, and he was completely lost. He clicked one marker, then said, "Um, what do I do now?"

Tested it on three other similarly situated professionals - none of whom read the directions that said "Click each of the markers, and when you've visited all of them, click NEXT to move on" and they were all confused. 

So, I made a giant pop-up lightbox with the directions that the learner would have to read and click CLOSE before doing the activity. ALL of them clicked CLOSE and then couldn't remember what to do. Added an annoying arrow - boom. They got it. 

I guess sometimes you just need an annoying arrow. Meh.