The phrase "design by committee" evokes a range of emotions from designers, mostly the kind you save for an arch-nemesis (think Lex Luthor) or expend on your Windows-based PC. A quick search will uncover a variety of articles and jokes bemoaning the process, and with good reason; it has long been the Achilles’ heel of many a designer’s creative freedom.
However, as enjoyable as it can be to slam the design feedback process, there are steps you can take to make the most out of it — because let’s face it — you usually don’t have a choice to design on your own (and if you do, consider yourself lucky).
I was pretty proud when I netted my first clients as a freelancer. Wow! Someone is actually willing to give me their money and have me design their site? I was ecstatic that someone had picked me out of all the talented designers out there.
But my joy didn’t last very long.
The projects were underfunded and the clients always asked for more, so I ended up designing and coding entire sites for about half the cost of what I currently make.
Clients and stakeholders — every project has them, and as much as some designers love to hate them, we need to ensure that we can work constructively with them.
The better we can work with our clients and stakeholders, the easier the relationship will be, the more we will enjoy working on the project, and the better sites we will design and develop.
Conversely, the more difficult the relationship is and the less communication that occurs, the harder the design process will be, and hence, we are less likely to end up with a successful outcome.
Being a freelance designer entails more than just the act of designing. Master the business side of design and you’ll thrive. Neglect it and watch your business take a dive.
There can be severe consequences for those who mismanage finances, fumble along without a business plan or don’t understand clients.
Few industries are as primed for expansion and scale as web design. With a successful sales and marketing routine in place, gaining extra income can be as simple as hiring, researching, and delegating. From contracted designers to highly optimized business processes, scaling an online business tends to be a significantly less stressful process than expanding a more traditional offline company.
Crowdsourcing is one of those things that designers hate to hear mentioned. It ranks up there with “Spec Work” and “My little cousin’s friend Tony can design me a logo cheaper than that!”
Since designers are a pretty vocal bunch on the subject, there are many debates about crowdsourcing. Trying to make sense of it all can be more daunting than trying to catch a greased pig. Let’s look at it from several angles, shall we?
Branding yourself keeps you current in your chosen field, opens doors for you, and creates a lasting impression on clients. By developing your own brand, you’ll have control over people’s initial perception. If you don’t brand yourself, someone else will, and the outcome might not be in your favor.