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How a web button suddenly costs an additional € 55

The story of the insanely expensive button

A marketer who considers everything that’s clickable and positioned in a row, a menu, spends all morning meticulously describing a change he wants in size and design of a button. Expectantly, he mails that to the lead frontend developer.

As he doesn’t hear back straight away, he decides to barge in to the office of the developer right after lunch.

The conversation

Marketer: “Hey girl, I need you to change that menu item, a.s.a.p! It should be twice as big and green!”

Developer: “What menu item?”

Marketer: “The third one.”

Developer: (agitated) “I don’t see a menu item!”

Marketer: “Of course you do, you made it!”

Developer: “I never made menu items…”

Marketer: “I mailed you a screenshot and a detailed explanation this morning!”

Developer: “Ah, THAT! Yeah, I studied that for a while, it was a lot of text. That’s a button with a popup, Sir. Not a menu item. That’s not for me to change just like that, Sir. You’ll have to talk to the Design Department. I would have mailed you that answer this afternoon. I answer my email only twice a day.”

Conversations like this are time-consuming, not to mention the frustration it generates. All in all, both spent half an hour on this confusion. Wasting time and resources like this can be prevented when you work with a proper Functional Design!

So how did that button cost € 55?

The developer, who charges € 110 per hour, dutifully logged it as “out of scope” time.

€ 110 ÷ 2 = € 55.


WRONG! It actually cost € 160!

Don’t forget the marketer’s wasted hours. I can’t tell you what it cost in other countries, but as a former recruiter, I can sure give you a good indication of what the marketer’s time costs in The Netherlands.

As he said, he’d been at it “all morning” it’s safe to assume that’s four hours.

Based on a monthly gross salary of € 3.500, working 40 hours a week, and knowing that employers pay approximately 30% taxes on top of that, this marketer costs € 26,25 per hour. So actually the whole confusion cost (4 x € 26,25) + € 55 = € 160.

Imagine, this happens three times per week? In a two-month project?

Do the math yourself…