Client called me last evening ...

… and told me that I got the job. All I did right now was an RFP and a brief look at her current page. The budget could be better (as ever, but that’s my mistake) and timeline, well …

What would you suggest me to do as the very first step?

Thx in advance for all your suggestions.

Cheers

Thomas

Part2 and related to this list


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Well what I usually do once i get a client is i do the mock ups of what i am thinking and i sit down with them to discuss it. Just to get our images aligned properly


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Hi Howard,

thanks for rushing in here - appreciated.

I can see what you mean. Hm - but isn’t it difficult to come up with raw ideas without knowing anything about a client and her profession?

I’m just a little fear to screw up things before I really start - it is making me slightly nervous. And I’m furthermore convinced that a specific sorting-order of the to-dos is making sense.

But I do not know what the to-dos are and how to bring them in a clever sorting order.

Cheers

Thomas


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Hmm, tough call. That’s why I always talk to my clients before I agree to a price, so I can see their website or figure out what they are trying to accomplish with their website.

I also then look at some websites that are in the clients industry to see what I like and what I don’t.

Look into Wedoist, its a free organizer where you can ask tasks and you can add your client to the project as well.

First step should be trying to figure out what she does.
I have a niche for project management, so if you would like to email me, i can give you some more ways to get organized and prioritize things. Email is in my account


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I would never leap right into mockups with the amount of interaction and direction I assume you’ve gotten, given your description of your client interactions to date. I’d start with writing down both her goals (so she feels heard and so you internalize them) and your goals for the new site concerning how you plan to make it function better for her needs and go over them with her. A detailed design brief up front can avoid heartache and wallet ache down the road. Also try to identify and articulate any uncertainties you have to raise them early. The more you have criteria agreed on, the more you feel solidly aligned, the more you can avoid frustrations that come from being blindsided by hidden criteria or by no criteria.


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Totally agree Peter. I never jump right into it. I always get as much info as I can before getting into them. The more communication you have with the client makes them feel at ease with it. I just finished a client’s site and she loved the communication I had with her. You don’t need to tell her what you need to do 1st,2nd, etc. Just need to get her goals down, what her company is, and information that will allow you to make a great site.

I also suggest having a questionnaire that you could go over with them to get information also


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Thanks guys - very good. So it’s all about content?

This reminds me on a lil story - if you allow me to tell?

Once I had the opportunity to be part of an animated cartoon. Good mate of mine is drawer and illustrator (and producer) of it. He said:

Could you help me out? We need a person who is transferring the spoken words (24 bits per second) into keyframes (12 per second) in order to have this as a base for animating our characters?

And I answered:

Häh? Why this!! I think a cartoon is drawing first, coloring and finally dubbed.

He said no - it’s exactly the other way round. What should we draw without having the dialogues already recorded? And he explained me a way I never thought about.

First reading a book - breaking this down in a storyboard with brief description - writing the dialogues - Actors speaking them.

It was a pretty cool job - complicated and very unusual. There is still the trailer of it available:

http://www.meier-rall.com

So hereby I collected another key skill of a designer:

Author and moderator - preferably on the first place.

Cheers

Thomas


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I am not sure if its ALL about content, but this is what i do in order exactly

  1. Talk to potential client about needs/wants and give a quote
  2. Then once everything is agreed and contract signed, I do mockups. This way the client and I are on same page. Usually takes 2 or 3 times exactly to get everything right.
  3. Then I start designing it in FW
  4. I add any things i need to do in wedoist and then i keep building and adding things
  5. Always let clients know where they can see updates/ and have them email me or call with any questions.

That’s a pretty cool story actually!


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Your friend has a very distinctive and elegant style. Thanks for sharing. Too bad none of the work you did made it into the trailer.

Clients tend to care all about the WHAT, and not much about the HOW.


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Totally agree with you there Peter


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Hi Peter,

well - the style is more the one of his business mate and a perfect representative of my home “the Black Forest”.

Michael “the illustrator” is really stunning. He is a good friend of Roland Emmerich (The day after tomorrow, 10.000 BC …). He did the pre-production paintings for him which can be found here (I know - it requires lots of cosmetics):

http://www.michaelmeier-illustrator.com/film/conceptart.html

Cheers

Thomas


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How can you design with no content? Yes you could pitch a random design that might hit the spot but why waste time at this point. Break the project into manageable stages and include the client with the decisions.

  1. Draw up a wireframe content page/plan (no design applied at this point). Decide and agree upon on the pages, how they link, the page content. There are tools to do this like https://gomockingbird.com however Freeway is perfect to use.

Agree this stage and sign off with the client

  1. Collect up the content required you’ve both decided and agreed to use.

  2. Now the content is agreed you can apply design to the content. And build finished page templates.

Agree this stage and sign off with the client

  1. Build the final site.

Agree this stage and sign off with the client

  1. Lauch the site.

Why this way? When the client changes their mind to alter a stage you can clearly point out you’ve already agreed that stage and charge them for the extra work required.

David Owen

http://www.printlineadvertising.co.uk
http://www.davidowendesign.com

On 1 Sep 2014, at 08:13, Thomas Kimmich email@hidden wrote:

What would you suggest me to do as the very first step?


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On 4 Sep 2014, 8:46 am, David Owen wrote:

How can you design with no content? Yes you could pitch a random design that might hit the spot but why waste time at this point. Break the project into manageable stages and include the client with the decisions.

  1. Draw up a wireframe content page/plan (no design applied at this point). Decide and agree upon on the pages, how they link, the page content. There are tools to do this like https://gomockingbird.com however Freeway is perfect to use.

Agree this stage and sign off with the client

  1. Collect up the content required you’ve both decided and agreed to use.

  2. Now the content is agreed you can apply design to the content. And build finished page templates.

Agree this stage and sign off with the client

  1. Build the final site.

Agree this stage and sign off with the client

  1. Lauch the site.

Why this way? When the client changes their mind to alter a stage you can clearly point out you’ve already agreed that stage and charge them for the extra work required.

David Owen

http://www.printlineadvertising.co.uk
http://www.davidowendesign.com

Period - Exclamation Mark.

The outline for:

Clients tend to care all about the WHAT, and not much about the HOW.

EXCELLENT guys - I hope this lil discussion will be followed (and swallowed) by others, too.

So the designer who anyway knows about the HOW is as well a good moderator and author of the WHAT. It’s just a question of the correct sorting-order.

Cheers

Thomas

I currently think about Part 3 of this paper chase through the jungle of FrontEnd Developing throughout this list. Please see this related to:

http://freewaytalk.net/thread/view/152261


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David describes the process for the information architecture and content dimensions of website design.

Another aspect may be your client’s identity/persona as not only expressed by logotype, but any other visual components you choose to keep consistent, including typefaces, color palette and where the color is applied, writing style (soft sell versus hard sell, for example), image style (can be many dimensions to this), how trendy versus traditional it is, etc.

Sometimes all this stuff is already determined and the rules become part of a client’s briefing to you. Sometimes this hasn’t been thought through very well.

Templates pre bake much of this, especially ones that allow little customization without lots of labor. But coming from a background in graphic design and visual identity, this approach feels backasswards to me.

You should start with developing the identity elements for a company tailored to it, then apply them to the site, business card, and any other manifestations of the company. This (I think) is one of the reasons graphic designers are drawn to Freeway rather than platforms like WordPress that are more template driven.

On the other hand, templates are a heck of a lot cheaper, and budgets only cover so much.


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Have you read Mike Monteiro’s book, Design Is a Job? Best $9 you’ll ever spend.

My take on it http://xiiro.com/musings/2014/09/08/mike-monteiro-design-is-a-job/.

Todd

… and told me that I got the job. All I did right now was an RFP and a brief look at her current page. The budget could be better (as ever, but that’s my mistake) and timeline, well …

What would you suggest me to do as the very first step?


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Not yet - but it’ll be the next I do (and inspired me to this list :slight_smile:

Cheers

Thomas


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