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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru SG1's Avatar
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    How to live happily with a great designer

    Sometimes, I don't always agree with what Seth Godin always says but I say amen to his latest post . Amen Seth, amen. I only hope more clients will listen to him and thus make our life easier. Doubtful,but one can always hope.

    I've copied and pasted below his entry;

    ==================================
    Why do some organizations look great... and get great results from their design efforts and ads... while others languish in mediocrity? I think it has little to do with who they hire and a lot to do with how they work with their agencies and designers.
    Here are the things your design team wishes you would know:

    1. 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.
    2. On the other hand, if you want great work, you'll need to embrace some simple facts:
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Be clear about dates and costs. Not what you hope for, but what you can live with!
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Don't get stressed about your logo.
    12. Get very stressed about user interface and product design. And your packaging.
    13. Say thank you.


  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru SG1's Avatar
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    I'm kinda surprised that no else is screaming "Amen" to this


  3. #3
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Everything he writes seems to be a regurgitation of common sense, with a little extravagance thrown in. He is a master of the obvious, a la Jacob Neilson. His twist is that he likes to make it interesting by getting slightly (and very predictably) out of the box with statements like, "It's going to offend someone. If it doesn't offend them, then it will make them nervous. ". I really disagree with that, personally, as it only applies to cheeseball marketing or MTV saturation as opposed to being a universal truth.

    There is always an expert stating the obvious, giving speeches on cruise ships, and writing books. You can usually learn most of what they say from a year or two on your own, from any experienced designer, etc.

    Like Jacob Neilson, history will see these types of authors as pundits as opposed to innovators.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  4. #4
    SitePoint Guru SG1's Avatar
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    You're not a Godin fan eh?

    If common sense is so common then why isn't it common amongst clients. And please don't tell me you've never had something even remotely close to this happen to you?
    Last edited by SG1; Jul 17, 2006 at 17:03.


  5. #5
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    It is common to clients to the extent its common to designers.

    There are designers that are experienced, and those that are not. There are clients who are experienced, and those who are not. I have a new client who's been running successful businesses for a long time. He's had many websites/marekting materials made and he understands how to treats vendors. It's easy, and we understand each other because we both know the protocol.

    I have another client who is a first-time and they can't get their thoughts together and sign-off on a creative brief. But, we are educating them and helping them to be a better clients.

    Over time, everyone learns. I know I say this a lot, but designers/developers who think that all clients are terrible need to learn to find and engage better clients. There are lots of GREAT clients out there who are a dream to work with - they are just harder to get
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing
    Over time, everyone learns. I know I say this a lot, but designers/developers who think that all clients are terrible need to learn to find and engage better clients. There are lots of GREAT clients out there who are a dream to work with - they are just harder to get
    And as I'm finding they pay much better too!

  7. #7
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Indeed, and faster. It's funny how as you get bigger and bigger jobs, the clients [largely] get easier and easier to deal with. There is a correlation between successful, larger businesses and clients who know how to be good clients. Likewise, small businesses and mom & pop jobs can be the worst.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

    SAGEWING LLC - QUALITY WEB AND MOBILE APPS. PREMIUM OUTSOURCING SERVICES.
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