[thelist] knowledge of dealing with design work for customers

P Chen info at designbychen.com
Tue Oct 13 17:08:01 CDT 2009

This book is helpful in offering advice on how to structure your contracts
to avoid/prevent freelancer abuse by a client. There are several industries
including web design work.

in addition, I've always found that if you present a single comp to a
client, you'll get a lot of hemming/hawing and change requests. Providing,
say, two different versions, is usually sufficient from which you can then
have the client choose one direction. Then if you build in a maximum round
of edits, say, 2 rounds of edits, once that number has been reached, you're
free to charge additionally for all other edit requests. It's also important
to define the scope to prevent scope creep which inevitably happens. Also,
don't forget to submit an estimated timeline of each milestone (including
each round of edits), and make sure they sign off on it. If you do this, it
helps the client see the timeline and know where they are in the process and
how much is left before the project concludes. I've found that this helps
move most projects along smoothly and in a timely fashion.


-----Original Message-----
From: thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org
[mailto:thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org] On Behalf Of
gildororonar at mail-on.us
Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 8:25 AM
To: thelist at lists.evolt.org
Subject: [thelist] knowledge of dealing with design work for customers

Hello. As someone who tries to take a design role I would like to ask
for some insights on this very issue:

All the design work can be very sensitive for customers, especially if their
consider their sales, reputation or everything can be heavily influenced by
the design, or they think they pay to look outstanding, which is more and
more difficult nowadays.

They are unsure of what they need, but they feel they must act
on something to get the better, so it happens you get them a design draft,
they have comment, you make a second one, they do it again, and it can go
for long time. They make comments, suggest a move on the shape or line,
want to try it brighter or lighter, compare to other people's work, and
use the partial criteria learned from others or concluded by themselves
to make the points.

Since I have been in software development role and desktop IT support role
for many years and directly communicate with users, I understand what I
need to say in this case. I can reason my doing with a proper logic. If
they consider change to a shape, or a small change from this to that, I
either know how to do it easy and fast, or to reason why we keep it that
way, and I am confident about what I say. However I know I spent many
years to achieve that. To properly convince customer I need rich knowledge
how other IT systems works for comparison 'cos my user would refer to
other systems, I also need to know completely how current system works to
be consistent about my saying, I also need good IT skill if user really
wants it that way or I think it's reasonable that way, which is OT (of
dealing customer relationship) but important anyway. A good sense of
time estimation is also important. To add to the list, I have good
knowledge of customer's business to prioritize requests correctly, even the
potential ones so I can plan well.

For the design things it become more difficult. Re-getting the knowledge
takes years. So my question is:

* is there an easy way to get it quicker, can it be listed as clear as
I list the knowledge I needed on my IT support / development role
so I get a "thread" to follow.

* is there a shortcut to get knowledge of dealing with design customers.
I know typical answer to all "shortcut" question is "work the hard way,
if you are thinking of shortcut all the time you don't gain". Yes I
/know/ that, as I went through these on my other job roles. But still,
as a hardworking person I can tell something to another hardworking
person some "short cut" on areas I am familiar with. The shortcuts
ain't magical, and is not supposed to replace hardworking, but useful

General ideas on improving design itself isn't my main question,
because this is a FAQ, I know how to google, I also read
many such article and is on the way of improving. I just ask the
side I am blind at.

Thanks in advance

way of improving.


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