[thelist] How do I build a proposal for a website?

Janet Green JGreen at desmoinesmetro.com
Thu Aug 7 09:28:06 CDT 2003

>>>I'd say everything you said was spot on. However I would be very careful about showing design concepts. Let them know that you understand the job. Provide them with enough background to show that you can do the job, but resist the urge to start designing.

Visual design should start some way down the line after you've had chance to get to know the client, their business, their users and their competition more. It's not something that should be done right at the start of a project, before you've even been awarded the job.<<<

Agreed, but the problem is, prospective clients don't always see it that way. You can explain your reluctance at providing actual design ideas, and they may even make noises like they see your point - then they'll select someone else for the job who DID provide them with a little creative. Also in this case it appears that the client specifically requested that she present a color scheme, so they're clearly expecting *something*.  I'm not in any way suggesting that one should do a ton of design work for a proposal - I'm just saying, if the client expects to see a creative concept in your presentation that's tailored to them, and you really want the job, you should provide it in such a way that keeps your time to a minimum. Although in this particular case, with the client stuck on special effects rather than "quality," I'm not sure it would be too great a loss if this project were lost to someone else. It's a balancing act, for sure, as are all aspects of client relations. Balancing the need to secure the work, the desire to do it well and right, and the client's notions of what they want and how it should be done. 


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