Val Head - Designer, Consultant and Speaker.

A proper Web Design Day follow up: Client relationship resources

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. It’s more of a proper follow up to my Web Design Day Presentation. I know my slides pretty light on content when I’m not actually there doing the talking. So, I wanted to share a few of the resources and posts I’ve found with really great advice and opinions on Designer-Client relationships.

Here’s a list of some articles to check out:

10 Ways I’ve Hurt My Own Creative
This is a great list of things that we do as designers to make things more difficult for ourselves. A lot of it I think we do without even realizing it.

Why Why Is So Powerful
Being able to answer “Why?” helps us present and defend our work. Being able to ask “Why?” helps us get find the real reason behind our clients’ motivations. Fits very well with the “Yes, meaning no” approach I talked a bit about. There’s a lot of other great articles on the positive space blog, definitely worth checking out.

10 ways to Battle Site Bureaucracy
Paul Boag has some great advice on dealing with clients. Also check out his carsonified presentation on Education Clients to Say Yes.

Don’t Work For Assholes
This is one in a series Derek Powazek has written about thing he has learned the hard way. One of these things is to not work with Assholes. I think this is something we all end up learning the hard way, but we still need to be reminded.

Focus on Results, Not Time
An article from behance magazine discussing the merits of focusing on the results of your work, not how long it takes you to do it.

Pre-bid Discussions
A post by Andy Rutledge pointing out how important the discussions you have with potential clients can be on the outcome of the project.

Industry trend? a blog instead of Flash?

Is it a trend? A somewhat slowly forming trend if it is.
Big name interactive shops are redesigning their previously Flash-based sites to be more blog based. Last week, Big Spaceship unveiled a new site that is completely blog-based and social media driven. Not so long ago, Barbarian group made a similar change to their site. And these two aren’t the only ones.

You’ll notice both sites have no Flash outside of their portfolio pages. Interesting.

This AdWeek article discusses how big name interactive shops are starting to build projects based on WordPress blogs instead of Flash micro sites for their clients. It seems they are moving in this direction with their own sites as well.

The big question is, of course, why? Why go with something that looks more like a blog when you’re known for building wicked cool Flash sites?

There’s a whole list of reasons, I’m sure. I think a big factor is the fact that web audiences have changed over the last few years.

Thanks to things like twitter, facebook and the like, people have started to think of the internet differently. These days, there is an expectation to be able to connect with people — real people, or “people” who seem convincingly real — online as opposed to just being wowed and entertained. That shift in expectations is a big factor that can make a Blog a better solution than a full-blown Flash site in some cases.

If you already got a strong reputation and portfolio to your name, why not make your site more about getting to know the people that make up your team? That’s definitely a different approach than trying to show off what you can do with your site. And it works.

Does this mean Flash is dead? Nope. I don’t think so. A blog is certainly not always better than a Flash site with all the bells and whistels. When it comes to the tools we use to do what we do, it’s never that black and white of a decision.

Web Design Day Slides

A big thanks to everyone who came out to Pittsburgh Web Design Day today. You guys made it the event as good as it was. I had an awesome time! It was great to meet some new people and hang out with some old friends, too.

Thanks to everyone who sent me a note via twitter about my presentation. I really appreciate the feedback.

Getting Past The Blame Game Slides