I have learned an important lesson about freelance web design. Essentially, it’s not a good idea to get attached to a design that you’re doing for someone else if that person has a design in mind already. If you get attached, then it feels like a personal attack when the client asks you to make a change based on their ideas. I’m learning very quickly that it’s important to be accommodating to whatever the client wants, because regardless of how much you know (or think you know) about ‘good’ design, that knowledge doesn’t matter in the least if you’re going to lose the job over it. The way I see it right now, the job of the web designer is to find a niche between the design principles that he understands to be effective and the requests of the client, combining them in a way that satisfies both the client and his own sensibilities.
I made the mistake of taking it personally when my roommate, for whom I’m building a site, asked for a bunch of changes to my design. That’s the last time, I think.