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  1. #1
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    Teaching the client to use the webiste

    I am creating a website for a public school project. The public school has an after school program for young girls to get them interested in science and technical careers through art. The website is consisting of:

    a main site
    17 sub sites for each "club"
    a sub site for each girl in each club (approximately 12 girls in each club)

    They needed a CMS for the entire site and blogging ability.

    I chose to use WordPress 3.0 for this. It's going pretty well.

    Here is the issue:

    They have asked me to meet face to face with them twice so far and have now asked for another meeting. That's fairly standard and not really a problem. But, they have now asked me to attend one of the "camps" for the girls later this month and introduce the site, speak with the girls about being a web designer, and teach them how to use the site. They have also asked me to attend two sessions with the "coaches" (of the club sites), one on a Friday and one on a Saturday to introduce the site to them and teach them how to use it.

    Before you ask, I did quote this job with a written proposal (which they accepted) and this proposal said nothing about meetings, tutoring, or "introducing" the site to anyone.

    I'm a designer, not a teacher. I am willing to possibly do this, but I feel I should be paid extra for my time. My design business is just me and I have many other projects that I am working on. Taking days away from my work is going to slow down my other projects.

    How would you all handle this?

    Here is a link to the site, if you are interested. I welcome any and all feedback. http://www.art2stem.org/home


    Thanks,

  2. #2
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustDucky View Post
    How would you all handle this?
    Tell them exactly what you told us.

    I'm a designer, not a teacher. I am willing to possibly do this, but I feel I should be paid extra for my time. My design business is just me and I have many other projects that I am working on. Taking days away from my work is going to slow down my other projects.
    They should be understanding of your situation and you have a signed contract that states what you are expected to deliver. That's several days of unpaid work (time on site + prep time) they're asking you to do.

  3. #3
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    How would you all handle this?
    As a user test and information design job -- as essential to seeing if the site works as code validation and cross browser testing.

    Site structure should closely support a curriculum of teaching science through art. With curriculum taking the lion's share of a design brief. My nose tells me this was an instruction design job done as standard web job, with wishful thinking rather than information design methods.

    It's your job. You just didn't include it in the quote because this won't be seen as part of your job for a decade or more. If it was built for use, it's an easy job. If not, then not so easy.

    An you don't get a vote.

    What is not your job is to use the site for the user when you get frustrated because they didn't act like you wanted them to. We had one coder who wanted to show every ...single ...Drupal user how to do it "right."

    I suggested we should clone the guy and pay to send the clones to sit next to each of the hundreds of users doubtless having the same problems. Cloning tanks are a bit pricey. Proper user test design methodologies are not.

    I've been in usability labs conducting user tests. I've instructed CMS users. Prepare to have your world view rearranged. A bit like a bombardier getting a first hand view of the damage.

    Cause -- meet effect.

  4. #4
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Huh?

    So what exactly is your advice DCrux?

    Do the work for free or tell them they need to pay her?

    If I didn't know better I'd think your response was using markov text generation with a text spinner thrown in for good measure.

  5. #5
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    I thought it was just me. I read that post several times. I have no idea what this person is trying to say to me.

  6. #6
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    Translation:

    Hey, you pulled another Wordpress dump out your (you know what) and got caught. Try billing it that way, as "hey I never knew people were going to use the thing" and the client will not be in a paying mood.

    Read up on the field of Instructional Design. Pretend you know what that is -- and built the site as if you did -- then try for billable. (And then run away).

    It's important to say words like information design, information architecture, requirements document and design brief without giggling. Better still if you can pretend there's a whole field of computer based training stretching back to Multimedia Toolbook and Hypercard.

  7. #7
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCrux View Post
    Translation:

    Hey, you pulled another Wordpress dump out your (you know what) and got caught. Try billing it that way, as "hey I never knew people were going to use the thing" and the client will not be in a paying mood.
    I disagree completely, she was hired to create a solution to a problem and she did that.

    If the client wanted additional services over and above design and coding then those need to be communicated before a price is negotiated and a contract is signed. This has nothing whatsoever to do with instructional design or how she built the site.

    Being condescending to the OP and suggesting that she was trying to rip off the client doesn't change any of those facts.

  8. #8
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    Unless you're talking about a solution without having a problem, then yes.

    If the client wanted additional services over and above design and coding then those need to be communicated before a price is negotiated and a contract is signed.
    Only if you know the field you're coding for exists. Then the developer doesn't know, the client doesn't know to ask, and everybody is confused.

    This is a case of generic code for a specific specialty and being surprised there are problems way too late.

    Similar to "who's doing the writin' ....it ain't me" in the other thread.

    Choke down your gall. I did not say don't bill extra. Go in like you expected the client request, act like you're prepared (with rates and industry standard terms for billable), and throw around some buzzwords you don't know anything about. Collect the extra money, then run. In other words: Situation Normal.

    It's education. It's not like it's anything important like plumbing. Fake it well. Bill (extra well). Then get the heck out before anybody notices.

  9. #9
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    DCrux, Either I'm not understanding what you are saying, or you are not understanding my initial question.

    The site I'm designing is working fine. It is exactly what they needed. What they want is for me to come in and teach a class to the girls who will be using the site, and then to come in on another occasion and teach the coaches (teachers) how to use it.

    If you design a site for a client with any CMS, do you typically go to their site and teach them how to use it? One of the reasons for using WordPress for this was it's ease of use for the client. These are 7th - 9th grade girls.

    My question was very simply, would you (you = the designers here on this forum) charge for this service and, if so, how much would you charge (an hourly rate, a day rate, a flat fee, per diem, mileage, etc.).

  10. #10
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    If you design a site for a client with any CMS, do you typically go to their site and teach them how to use it?
    As part of content strategy yes. Drupal. Joomla. Wordpress. TextPattern. Toolbook. (not hypercard) But yes.

    Drupal with LDAP for membership management, open hula, eGroupware for project management and more -- then double yes.

    Do I have to go there all the time? No. Not necessary to go to their location to see what they see. Just like a technician troubleshooter can link and even control your PC remotely.

    So yes charge. How and what depends on your existing rate structure and all the rest.

    For on site instruction, I go with hourly. If it goes over and gets expensive, charge a lower day rate. Travel is within X miles no bill, over X bill.

    And my point was, if you want the client to accept the bill, don't write it up as "stuff I did." Want to charge more, read the links I pointed to. More still? Understand the links I point to. Want a lot less? Act like it's a surprise the client asked.

    And charge like it doesn't fit in with your business.

    It's more than sliding a piece of paper with numbers on it across the table.

  11. #11
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    When you're doing your "thing," target instruction to your audience.

    Like hard drive defragmentation. One out of like thirty girls get what a hard drive even is.

    Nobody can charge much for that.

    How's hardware different from software, explained for people who don't care? Hardware you can bash with a hammer. Software you can only swear at.

    That, you can charge for. And also expect to get the bill paid.

    I had a huge increase in understanding by relating a hard drive to a closet. And rearranging cluster fragments as assembling a coordinated outfit for a job interview you have tomorrow, when you just need to grab it and go.

    Tested. Works. (With humans).

    That's how you pull off the "No sweat, I've done this before" thing.

  12. #12
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    Your client simply needs an explanation of the facts of life, and a reminder of the scope of the project. I suspect that they'd be as reluctant to pay for an extra two or three days of your time because you added something out of scope as much as you are at spending the time because such training is also out of scope. A deal is a deal.

    That said, if you're really into the whole "girl empowerment" thing, spend the time and have some fun with it. Maybe some day you'll get to do a "boy empowerment" thing, but I wouldn't count on it.

  13. #13
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    I normally include one training in a cms project. Which normally takes 30-60 minutes.
    What they're asking you to do actually sounds like fun, but it also sounds a bit out of scope.
    Non-profits often have very specific budgets for projects because a lot of their funding is grant based. Everything's cool within the budget, but a penny over ain't going to happen. At any rate, if you do it for free, make sure they no its out of scope and you are volunteering. If this isn't a project you want to volunteer on, then set a price.


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