Selling Design: Scattered Notes from Web Design World Boston

12/13/07 :: by Patrick

As you all know, I recently attended Web Design World in Boston. Besides being able to geek out for a full two days, I got to hob knob with other contemporaries as well as have an alcohol-lubed conversation or two with some of the luminaries in the business. I won’t go into the nitty gritty details of said confabulations because you likely won’t care, but down below I have highlighted a few golden kernels that Jeffrey Zeldman touched on during his presentation of Selling Design.

  • Happy Cog Studios has it written into every contract that they will answer to ONE decision maker and one decision maker only.
  • Avoid clients who provide reams of paper work, outlines, MS Paint illustrations etc. up front. This could be an early indication that they don’t trust you.
  • Remember that the world at large / clients are very suspicious of design. A client wants to know why choosing a cool font isn’t the end of the logo design process or why you charge more to build a website then his nephew does.
  • Don’t open the door for ‘pixel’ conversations. For example, if you tell a client, ‘I put a 2 pixel border around that image instead of 3,” he might ask why, and then, even worse, he might ask you to try a four pixel border. Sell the meaning of the design, not the technology or nuts and bolts behind it.
  • Happy Cog does a full month of research and conducts usability audits on the client’s current site (if it exists) before beginning ANY design.
  • None of that stuff was meant to commandments etched in stone, just some general things to keep in mind. It is possible to learn from others’ mistakes, I think, without having to go through all the hand wringing and heartache yourself.

    On a funny side note, his company recently designed the AIGA website. He showed off some of the original design prototypes. One of the refinements AIGA asked for? Bigger logo, natch.

One Response to “Selling Design: Scattered Notes from Web Design World Boston”

  1. moquito Says:

    We have the same written into our contracts about a single decision maker. Good notes!

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