Seth Godin once in a while comes up with things that is a great inspiration to me. But this one is really hitting the nail right on the head. In his post “How to live happily with a great designer” he mentions 13 rules that designers wish their clients knew. I have often wondered about this topic and it must be the designers favorite bitching topic. It’s so common among designers that when you start going “I made this design for a client and they, wanted me to change… yada yada yada” they will just roll they eyes in consent and invite you to “join the club”.
Here they are Seth’s 13 rules that we designers wish our clients would know.
- If you want average (mediocre) work, ask for it. Be really clear up front that you want something beyond reproach, that’s in the middle of the road, that will cause no controversy and will echo your competition. It’ll save everyone a lot of time.
- On the other hand, if you want great work, you’ll need to embrace some simple facts:
- It’s going to offend someone. If it doesn’t offend them, then it will make them nervous. The Vietnam Vets memorial offended a lot of people. The design of Google made plenty of people nervous. Great work from a design team means new work, refreshing and remarkable and bit scary.
- It’s not going to be easy to sell to your boss. That’s your job, by the way, not mine. If you want me to do something great, you’ve got to be prepared to protect it and defend it. Come back too many times for one little compromise, and you’ll make it clear that #1 was what you wanted all along.
- You can’t tell me you’ll know it when you see it. First, you won’t. Second, it wastes too much time. Instead, you’ll need to have the patience to invest twenty minutes in accurately describing the strategy. That means you need to be abstract (what is this work trying to accomplish) resistant to pleasing everyone (it needs to do this, this and that) and willing, if the work meets your strategic goal, to embrace it even if it’s not to your taste.
- Help me out by pointing out the work you’d like this to be on a peer with. If you want a website to be like three others (in tone, not in execution) then point it out. In advance.
- Be clear about dates and costs. Not what you hope for, but what you can live with!
- You don’t know a lot about accounting so you don’t backseat drive your accountant. You hired a great designer, please don’t backseat drive here, either.
- If you want to be part of the process, please go to school. Read design magazines or take a course from Milton Glaser or get a subscription to Before & After. By the way, that one link is the single best part of this post.
- This one may surprise you: don’t change your existing design so often. Not when your kids or your colleagues tell you it’s time. Do it when your accountant says so.
- Don’t get stressed about your logo.
- Get very stressed about user interface and product design. And your packaging.
- Say thank you.
I’ve heard rumors about this but I could not figure out what the hell this “The Venice Project” was all about … My few investigations on Google directed me to the 1999 movie of the same name with Lauren Bacall and Dennis Hopper – which of course wasn’t quite the “project” I was looking for.
Yesterday BusinessWeek Online revealed something of more relevance: It appears that Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis (Kazaa, Skype) are at it again; they probably want to do to the TV/movie industry what they did to the music industry; provide what people demand; easy access – probably using some degree of P2P technology. Still, there must be some kind of disruptive twist?
A lot is happening regarding online TV/video distribution at the moment. It makes me sweat (just a drop) just thinking about when we need to focus (much) more on developing easy ways to manage marketing activities in these new variations of online marketing – it will be interesting though…
Morten E. Wulff Jul 24th1 Comment »
You are enthusiastic about new technology and know all about what’s going on the in the world of online development, on demand solutions, etc. At night you dream about AJAX, ATLAS, DOM-scripting, cross-browser integration and so on. If live.com needs an overhaul, you are the one to do it.
Headlight is indeed a software solution with great emphasis on delivering the best out-of-the-box experience why a restrictive focus on simplicity, usability is essential. You will be responsible for achieving this goal.
Check it out: http://www.traceworks.dk/df_careerOps.asp#front
The June 2006 edition of Business 2.0 magazine lists the 100 fastest-growing tech companies of 2006.
One trend that has emerged is that online advertising has replaced retailing as the Web sector that is most in demand. BusinessWeek explains that the Internet ad market grew to $12.5 billion last year, a 30 percent increase from 2004.
I guess this must be a pretty good launch pad for Headlight?
Morten E. Wulff Jul 5th1 Comment »
Interested in being a key player in our strategy of integrating our upcomming new product Headlight with all the important media companies in the world e.g. Google, Yahoo, MIVA … Guess it is what you can call a true web 2.0 Senior Developer position.
Check it out: http://www.traceworks.dk/df_careerOps.asp#API