|Show 'Compassion' when asking for work|
Just thought i'd throw this out there for others..coming from an average person..as it has helped me a lot over the years.
8 years ago or so when I first started my sites, I would pay for Graphics and Website design from various companies.
I think a part of us (buyers) feel that all we need is to give the Web Designers a rough idea of what we want done, and that they will *magically* make it to be the perfect example of what we envisioned.
Those attempts ended in failure for me. I never got what I wanted, and in fact was mostly more upset at the end...and never wanted to do business with em again.
I've found out over the last year or 2...when asking for Logo's , Graphics, Website Templates or whatever to be done... BE EXTREMELY detailed in exactly what you want and show a compassion or love for the design you want. (it sounds a little fruity..I know..but trust me it works) It WILL give off the same vibes to the person creating your stuff. Also, I guess it helps a little more if you keep feeding them the $$. But first you must find someone that has proven to have really good design skills.
I've done this with 3 seperate people over the last 2 years..and each one thanked me for being as detailed as possible...even about the smallest things. They also mentioned how it made their jobs so much easier...and less guess work that needed to be done.
I run sites and do all the technical coding and all..but i'm horrible at making graphics.. so yeah, this is mostly coming from a Buyer's perspective.
Maybe this is all well known stuff from Designers around the world, if not...Just thought i'd give some good advice to people out there.
It really helped me out alot..nowadays I get BETTER then what I expected almost every time.
Isn't it the same the other way round? I always love it when a client comes up to me and can give me a detailed tour of what the app I'm going to build works, what it does and how it does it, which function is available on which page etc pp.
I've found that, with some designers, I have to explain alot ("you know, there's a difference between web and print, right?"), with others, it just works. I, personally, am unable to even think of what I want until I see it. I've worked with a guy for a few years now, and he just drops something in my mailbox and I say: thanks, that's exactly what I would've thought of if my brain was functional.
I guess, to add to your tactics: once you got someone with whom the whole process is easy and satisfying, don't let them go.
>I, personally, am unable to even think of what I want until
>I see it. I've worked with a guy for a few years now, and he
>just drops something in my mailbox and I say: thanks,
I used to be like that in the past too. But if you have a true goal / ambition for your site. You would think about the new look of your site for maybe months beforehand. All the different ins and outs. But yeah, I guess it takes experience from the Buyers as well. For instance, if I was a first time buyer and it was my first site I would probably just want something that would WOW people. But thinking like that is only thinking towards one type of audience. What about the others that would like a more low key , relaxed and easy to use site...or calm and relaxed graphics ?
All in all, I think the more thought process that goes into things from all angles, will result in a better end result.
>I guess, to add to your tactics: once you got someone with
>whom the whole process is easy and satisfying, don't let
I fully agree with that. Once you have someone really good, dont ever let go. lol.
>I used to be like that in the past too. But if you have a
>true goal / ambition for your site. You would think about
>the new look of your site for maybe months beforehand. All
>the different ins and outs.
Oh, believe me, I do. I'm not running any sites myself, I'm a gun for hire. But I wanted a site to have a place to send people for some projects of mine, and I've been working on that site since 2001 ;)
Granted, it's not just the design that makes me delay year after year, it's also the technology behind that. On that particular page, I'm not working with any designers, because it doesn't feel right, I want it to be all me. And it seems, there's alot of me to be put in there. Pushed myself through many designs already, never even considered one to be a rc.
I'm a "provider" crossing several fields . . . . design . . graphics . . . image processing . . programming . . . . page construction . . .
The undeniable truth is that graphics, logos, design concepts are hopelessly subjective. Consider,
"Ugh! Why is the background green? I hate green!"
"I don't know art, but I know what I like. And that ain't it."
"Here is a sketch that is EXACTLY what we want." [Does final art to spec, precisely.] "That's not what we're looking for, we're going with someone else."
You know the platitudes. One man's floor is another man's ceiling. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The real problem is, those that are most outspoken about design issues most likely know the least about it.
I have one client who's site is so butt-ugly I have offered to revise it for FREE, I have begged her, PLEASE let me make you look at least half professional. She won't hear of it, and only shouts to the heavens about how beautiful it is, how everyone tells her they love it (probably because they fear the business end of her wrath . . . )
So my point is: everyone is this way, no matter how much you think you know about design. This includes myself, although I try to fall back on technical explanations of color theory, the final decision is still made by my intuitive experience. So the trick, really, is to find a designer who is on the same page as you in terms of what you think is acceptable and what you think is ugly.
Sometimes, this borders on The Emperor's New Clothes. Sometimes, it's just pairing up with similar views. Blue or Green? PC or Mac? Ford or Chevy? :-)
>"Ugh! Why is the background green? I hate green!"
>"I don't know art, but I know what I like. And that ain't
>"Here is a sketch that is EXACTLY what we want." [Does final
>art to spec, precisely.] "That's not what we're looking for,
>we're going with someone else."
I would never shout and be all antsy and annoying like the examples you've given above. But I could certainly see how an attitude like that would suck to deal with when trying to creating something for them.
So yeah...you have the right to give them a crappy product if their all annoying like that. But maybe the best of talents out there would be able to see through the distractions and continue with the good points..any maybe try to calm them down ?
I give you guys props for dealing with crap like that on a daily basis..
Think about it...if their nervous , frustrated , and acting all antsy and annoying about their design...its only normal for you to give them the same crap in return.
Maybe more people will take my advice to make it easier for u guys. :-)
Im sure they wouldnt use the same attitude if you guys were cooking for them.
>You know the platitudes. One man's floor is another man's
>ceiling. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The real
>problem is, those that are most outspoken about design
>issues most likely know the least about it.
Depends on what type of "outspoken" your regarding. . I almost never have any rushed products.. I tell them their flexible on the timing and I even small talk with them at times to alleviate the tension and work enviroment.
At the same time im very detailed & dedicated about exactly and how i'd like to have things done. I make sure that I pass it on to them that im not trying to be an a-hole by providing so much information. They always tell me it helps them considerably..and they understand in the end. Starting with a new person, I could see where the problems would arise though.
Maybe your so used to the annoying people of the past that you could occasionally be blowing off the few good ones before they even set a foot in ?
|you have the right to give them a crappy product if their all annoying like that. |
NEVER! See below.
|Depends on what type of "outspoken" your regarding. . |
The samples I posted are the type of "outspoken" I hear recurrently.
|They always tell me it helps them considerably.. |
Correct, note the distinct difference between this and vague responses such as "I don't know art, but I know what I like."
|...you could occasionally be blowing off the few good ones before they even set a foot in ? |
Not at all. In the first five to ten minutes, I let the client do all the talking. I read body language, get the gist of their position and attitude. True, experience plays into it a lot, if you do this long enough like anything else, you begin to see trends and experience deja vu. If I read a customer as vague and slippery, I set my approach differently. The real "blow off" doesn't come until I hear their reaction to the first comps, if it's as I said - vague and lacking in direction, "I don't know what I want but that ain't it" - I don't "blow them off." I kindly relate what I've said above, that sometimes it's like finding the right mate, and while I'd be glad to take their money as we go through 20 revisions and never get to a solution you're happy with, it might be more cost efficient if you find someone that has the same ideas as you do in terms of design.
They may be a little surprised, but they are always appreciative.
Ah, the impossible design customer... I remember him/her well.
I found that if I was able to communicate an understanding of their audience and goals, I could save myself some headaches (if at the cost of near-term billable hours).
Do you want me to build the site for you, or for your customers?
One thing I've found that works well is 3rd party surveys and focus groups. Feel free to copy my template below:
"It doesn't matter what you or I think looks good - it matters what you potential clients think and how they react to it (generate leads, sales etc.) Of course I would never put out work I also didn't think looked good and wasn't proud of, and as a designer I've had both the education and experience that tells me that we are on the right path. Let me make several variations and let's focus group them - what do you think?"