I’m still forming an opinion on the effectiveness of popup overlays. My reservation stems from the potential of creating visitor irritation or ill will. Nevertheless, this article from entrepreneur.com offers many options and different approaches, some of which have merit. It’s definitely worthy of review.
Prototyping Your Workflow explores the process of introducing new ways of collaboration for working on innovative approaches to development in a way that retains organizational efficiency while not having the client “bankroll our workflow remodeling project”. Techniques used include a more direct approach in working together with cross-functional development teams:
pairing designers and developers early on in a project, and having the developer create markup that “waterskis” behind the designer’s sketches and Photoshop explorations.
What I found particular interesting is the implementation of HTML/CSS wireframes with an eye towards eventually delivering HTML/CSS prototypes to the client in the final round. I believe there is a definite trend in that direction.
This is a must read for independent designers and developers. Rachel Andrew is right on the money in her observation that world of large design firms and web conferences is a world apart from independent web developers who work in the trenches creating websites for small businesses on a budget. They represent a large segment of the web workforce and are not apart of the rarified world of expensive speakers and high end conferences. This breeds an alienation and relevance factor that deserves serious attention.
This article offers good insight on business models for web freelancers. The primary considerations is “Base pricing decisions on the service you want to offer, and who you want to offer it to”. Working strictly on an hourly rate has drawbacks and affects design decisions in that clients may feel like they are getting nickeled and dimed everytime they consult with you. So you may want to consider a weekly rate or a flat project rate. When you look at project rates be very careful on spelling out the project scope in writing. Another consideration is support. What will you offer and what is the cost.
Rachel Andrew founder of edgeofmyseat.com, the company behind Perch CMS discusses business models in light of her experience. This article also includes links to rates others in the design and development community charge. Note that the links are for EU businesses which differ from those based in the US.
These articles from alistapart shine a light on the importance of cultivating good working relationships and good communication (interviewing and listening) practices. They also provide practical information including how to choose good clients and work with them as well as a step-by-step approach for conducting effective client interviews. Even though the article on “Good Clients…” focuses on freelancers, several aspects apply to designers in all employment situations.