How to make profitable website design development # 1
An article written by Igor Abyzov and published on the Habrahabr portal about the basic rules of profitable website development. The article is written in 5 parts, we publish the first of them.
Let’s first define who this article is for (hereinafter referred to as the performer), and what problems you face every day.
So, if you:
- freelance designer;
- a designer working in a web studio / web agency;
- web studio / web agency;
- intermediary between the above and the client.
then this article will be extremely interesting and useful for you to study.
All the types of performers presented face the same questions. In this series of articles, I propose to analyze these issues together. Of course, everyone has a different beginning of communication.
Some go to the client, wait for the appointed time, when they will be ready to receive. Further, they personally discuss with the owner or a group of subordinates the design of the future brainchild.
The latter receive tasks from their management or lazily receive the client in their office and listen to how to draw the “seven red lines” (video). Still others, the lucky ones, sit at home or in a separate office and receive all tasks in correspondence or by calling a client – for example, via Skype.
Formulation of the problem
Further, everyone has one and the same problem: how to remember everything that the client said, and after the first layouts, remind (or rather even convince) that this is exactly what the client asked for. Then you need to go back to the beginning and redo – sometimes everything is complete.
Then you need to find what your client needs. On the one hand, you understand how it should be. You, as a designer, know what he needs. And then something is born in you and you think: “yes, this is what he needs … this is what he will like.” Sit down and do several pages in a row.
Let’s consider the most common situation: the designer gives the layouts to the project manager, and he presents the layout to the client (using one of the methods described above), returns and says: “we make 100,500 edits in this layout, and the client wants to see 2-3 more options to choose from.”
At the meeting, of course, the client was shown your previous work, and competitors were considered. Of course, your favorite sites and a couple of sites of top resources were opened to the client – they say, “Look, no one does this …”.
But the result is the same: redo it again. “He didn’t like my version… it’s not clear what he wants… and 2-3 more options” – the designer thinks angrily. Then he begins to revise a ton of examples shown to the client.
Go ahead: you have already chosen one layout with the client, the one that will not change until the end of the project (you think). Then the question arises: how to fill 32 pages of the site? Okay, for the main one, you have a brilliant idea. There are 5-7 more pages, let’s call them standard: contact information, short news, detailed news, reviews, documents … Here your list ends.
The client in his head imagines something in between the GAZPROM site, where there is a lot of text, photos and illustrations, and the apple.com site (well, or its analogue, colorful, with curlicues). Or maybe he was engaged in woodcarving in school and imagines a website in curlicues and text in the form of shavings. Okay, you get the point.
The question is what to fill. Yes, some of the pages can be filled with “fish”, you can take beautiful “foreign people” with a crossed-out overlay. But what will happen then … how will it look with real content? There are “pages under construction”, pages with two sentences or pages with photos, which are ashamed to show. And this is your client, your face, your portfolio.
Yes, you can give him a text editor in the admin panel of the site – they say, “fill as you see fit.” And then in the portfolio, show what the client has posted there, using the copy / paste method from his doc file with big red letters on a blue background …
Development and control
Here you start a leapfrog with the transfer of layouts to the client -> demonstration -> discussion -> edits -> and in a circle. What are the problems? Lots of! It is at this stage that the main work begins. It is here that the client remembers on the way that he wanted something else in this project. Or, perhaps, he imagined many things differently than you (the lead project) or your designer.
The client is sometimes on the spot, then he has a business trip and he only has a phone in his hand. Often the client is just busy with work and forgets what you showed him last week, which layouts have already been approved and which have not yet. Maybe just on Friday night, when he came home, he wanted to look again at the design made in a week. Here you can list for a long time.
It all depends, of course, on the initial agreements (50/50, payment upon delivery, payment in stages, hourly, etc.). But the bottom line remains the same: until the client sees what he wants, he won’t pay. He will not just pay, but will pay everything on time. And then you will receive another order from his partners or friends.
The result of the first part
In this article, I have outlined the main problems encountered in website design development. In the next part, I’ll show you how you can deal with them in order to reduce your time and maximize your profits. Keep for updates.