The website brief from the client used two sites as her main inspiration.
Client: I love these websites. I want a lot of the same functions and style in my website… but not a clone.
So I build the initial concept based on them: sleek lines, monochrome color palette and large amount of whitespace.
Client: Looking good so far, but can you make these three changes to the hero slideshow?
The three changes make it exactly like one of the sample websites. Two days later, she then sends me about a dozen changes that make the website look like the lovechild of the other two sites, everything from the image sizes, fonts, mouseover actions, button textures, and the format of the footer widgets.