Posted on Feb 17, 2011
Estimating is the most difficult part of our jobs - designing logos, websites, etc. may seem identical between clients + projects, but the reality is that we provide custom work and getting the final amount of hours correct is part guess, part experience and part science.
Clients make decisions to work with us based on price or experience or past work or gut feeling... whatever the criteria, we are always asked for estimates and while we must provide some basis of price to provide a ballpark, we begin the process by working on assumptions.
- Will the client be well organized?
- Have they worked with a design studio before?
- How many people are involved in the decision making process?
- For branding requests, how much time is needed to accurately research their positioning and competition?
- What is their budget?
- Are there time constraints?
All of these questions play an important role in the process and frankly, we never really know these answers as we sharpen our pencils and provide a starting estimate.
If we were to base all of our estimates on worse-case scenarios, we could be providing pricing that doesn't accurately reflect the process of working with a well organized and collaborative client. The same could be said for estimating too efficiently and then walking straight into a disorganized and demanding client.
Quote too low and you could be perceived as not capable; quote too high and you could miss the opportunity...finding that sweet spot is the almighty challenge.
Posted on Feb 15, 2011
Facebook was built on personal interaction. The usual post from friends and family are still the backbone of this social media giant and while it's certainly no secret that businesses have participated in the dialogue, they've always had different access and were required to adapt to a slightly different communication model, communicating alongside traditional posts and replies.
That's all changed now with Facebook relaunching the look of all the specialized participants. Now businesses, fan or group pages can interact with anyone much like a friend or family member and designers are being called on to customize pages to enhance the communication process. At Sharkbite, our strategy for business pages within Facebook is to provide a secondary web presence that works alongside the corporate web site; providing people with access to all of the key information without having to leave Facebook's living room. Linking to a company's main site is crucial, but that path is clearly identified so that people can comfortably decide if they would like to make the leap out.
From a creative perspective our designers build custom business pages that complement the aesthetic of Facebook so that the experience integrates with the overall surroundings. We've seen too many custom pages that try to force their own branding into the pages with the end result being a disjointed experience both from an aesthetic and usability perspective.
Keeping businesses communicating with the fluidity of the personal experience is a smart move for Facebook and challenges designers to keep stride with the changes. It's just keeping up with the pace that challenges us - really cuts into our 3 martini lunches.
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Some samples of Sharkbite customized business sites: