We receive a Request for Proposal (RFP) in some form or another nearly every day. Some projects are simple, but none offer as much potential for miscommunication as the Web Design RFP. Often, first contact is in the form of the impossibly vague question, “We need a website; how much do you charge?”
It is important to note that web design projects can range from the very basic (e.g., PSD deliverables for under a grand) to the mind-twistingly complex (some website budgets can reach seven digits). If you don’t provide a clear picture of what you need, there’s no way a design company can quote on it.
Design is a rogue industry. Service providers range from ambitious seven-year-olds to outsourcing wholesalers to small expert teams to corporate giants, and from the customer’s point of view, they can be difficult to tell apart.
This can easily leave the customer feeling overwhelmed and a bit lost, especially in trying to establish a project budget.
“Creating a new website is like having a baby – the first one really is the hardest.”
These words came from one of our current clients, during the early wireframe phase of his first website. And although we make the process as easy as possible for our clients, it remains a valid point. Your website is your company’s public face after all, so you really do want to make sure that each and every detail is just right.
The process can be overwhelming for the uninitiated. If this describes you, read on. What follows is a basic, plain-language checklist for getting your organization online.
I’ve long been a proponent of the view that if a technology is to be used, it should be done deliberately, with intelligent restraint, and with purpose. What’s more, it should not be used for reasons such as abstract trendiness or at the expense of general usability. You can have impact without beating your audience over the head.
What follows is a recounting of one man’s frustration at the restaurant industry’s infatuation with Flash. Enjoy.
It is difficult to address this topic without bias. However, I have been through the freelancing process from both ends… as the freelancer, and as the hiring party. And in both roles, what I’ve learned is that the world of freelancing is a turbulent ocean, with thirty sets of teeth for every pearl.
That’s not to say that hiring (or being) a freelancer is a bad idea. The pearls are there, and they are worth the swim if you’ve got the legs for it. The problem – or at least one of them – centers around an over saturated and under regulated marketplace.
There are thousands of resources online and in print purporting to hold the secret to success in business. It’s a vast and profitable industry, and books continue to fly off the shelves. From a service industry perspective, to me it seems to boil down to a single, simple ideal: The best way to attract and keep clients is to create a service experience that is second to none.
Providing exceptional design is not the full picture of what our company does. For a professional firm, quality of design should be a given. What keeps people coming back is the combination of high quality work product, and excellent customer service. And the same is true with any business.
I have always loved glass packaging. Whether it be the nostalgic glass Coke bottles I remember buying at the corner store as a kid, or some of the supremely creative bottles at the local liquor store, I reckon I’ll always be subject to the glass bias.
Solid yet fragile, simple yet versatile, and clean yet primitively natural – the feel of glass gives an instant impression of quality.
Being mindful of your actions is not simply good advice for living… in business, it is a requirement.
A few days ago, my incoming Twitter feed took on a fiery tone. Anger spewed forth with abandon from one of my fellow business owner contacts. He was incensed, having discovered that a particular spammer had gone the extra mile to target his company’s clients as a group.