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Posts Tagged ‘Business’.

We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with ‘Business’.

How To Deliver Exceptional Client Service

We often hear companies, including Web agencies, boast about how they provide exceptional client service. But how do they define exceptional? Consider this scenario. You are hired to design and develop a new website for a retail client. The client loves the design, and the pages you develop use the latest in HTML5, CSS3 and responsive design, resulting in a website that works wonderfully across browsers and devices.

How To Deliver Exceptional Client Service

The e-commerce features of the new website help the client significantly increase their online sales, and the entire project is delivered on time and on budget. Now, is this “exceptional” client service? I don’t think it is. When the client hired you, they expected that you would design and develop a great website. They also expected it would be done according to the timeline and budget set during the planning stages of the project. As successful as this project may have been for both you and the client, in the end, you did exactly what you were hired to do. You did your job.


Guidelines For Outsourcing, Sub-Contracting and Hiring Out

From one artist to another, I know how satisfying it can be to achieve the perfect shade of a color or squeeze the most difficult font into the funkiest space. Having spent some time experimenting with these and other aspects of design, I also know how time-consuming and downright maddening it can be to do these things without enough know-how. Fortunately, there’s an easier way to solve design problems, and I wish I discovered it much earlier.

You can outsource practically anything. (Image: re-ality)

Outsourcing, sub-contracting, hiring it out: whatever you want to call it, it’s a designer’s best friend and a dirty little secret at the same time. Outsourcing not only solves design problems, it solves them cheaply, while you go off to do the things that you really want to do. Here’s how to do just that.


How Do You Deal With Overstressed, Irrational Clients? An Entrepreneur’s View

As an entrepreneur who has been on the client’s side of the design and development process, I’d like to discuss the thought process of the client, as well as some effective ways to interact with them. For example, why do they ask for Shakira music on the home page? And how do you respond to that?

Explaining something to the client

I was recently referred to Sam Barnes’ piece on Smashing Magazine “How to Explain to Clients That They Are Wrong.” The article was well written and made a lot of sense to me, but there are two sides to every story, and I’d like to add value to the argument by responding from the client’s point of view.

For the most part, Sam did a great job of discussing how to evaluate and act on poor decisions made by clients. What he missed, however, was the impact that the nature of the relationship between clients and creatives has on how decisions are made by both sides. By “creatives,” I mean anyone involved in the design or development of a website or application. Understanding this relationship will enable you, and your clients, to make better decisions about the product.


Turning Small Projects Into Big Profit, A Case Study

In the Web world, hearing businesses and freelancers alike complain about low-budget projects is not too uncommon. Let’s say that a local coffee shop needs to update its Web presence and contacts you for a redesign. It also requires a blog so that it can announce new coffees, events and so on. However, during the course of the first meeting, the client mentions that they don’t have a budget.

Menno Tea - Our Teas

Being the inquisitive businessperson that you are, you say, “Well, we work with budgets of almost any size. What price range were you thinking of?” The owner of the coffee shop reveals that he has only $1500 to spend on the website. Thinking it would be a waste of time, you walk away.


So You Want To Build A Software Product

If you like the idea of being your own boss (I certainly do), chances are you get the itch sometimes to create your own product  — a product whose direction you control, that you do not have to compromise on with someone else, and whose fruits you get to fully enjoy, instead of being paid by the hour or a flat rate. It could be a Web service, a WordPress plugin or a desktop application, but the core problem is the same: how do you pick an idea that will succeed?

So You Want To Build A Software Product

Most of us take a very simple approach: we stumble on something that doesn’t work well for us or we identify a problem that we have a lot of experience with, and we think, “All right, I’ll just build x for y and make a mint.” The problem is that we don’t have any indicators of whether others feel the same pain and would be inclined to pay for a solution.


Assuming Leadership In Your Design Agency

There comes a point in the career of many Web designers where the logical progression in that career is to take on a leadership position. A logical step or not, when a designer "assumes" this type of a position, there is often another "assumption" happening at the same  —  that wizard-like proficiency with HTML and CSS, coupled with a number of years in the industry, equips someone to take on a leadership role. This is, of course, not always the case.


Over the past few years, I have gone through this transition myself, moving from a Web designer to a Creative Director to my current role as the Director of Web Development. During this transition, I turned to the blogs and other resources that I had found helpful in my career to that point, looking for tips and lessons that would help me in my new role. I quickly realized was that while there are countless articles to help you become that aforementioned HTML and CSS wizard, there are precious few that deal with the move from designer to director.


Idiots, Drama Queens and Scammers: Improving Customer Service with UX

User experience design isn’t just about building wireframes and Photoshop mock-ups. It extends to areas that you wouldn’t necessarily think are part of the discipline.

Idiots Button

For example, your customer service department can have a huge impact on your website’s overall user experience. Similarly, the design of your user experience could have an awfully big effect on your customer service department. Of course, not all of your users will interact with the customer service department, but for those who do, their experience can improve or destroy the customer relationship.


Building WordPress Themes You Can Sell

When I took my first steps into the WordPress theme arena, I didn’t know much about it. I wandered blindly into the business, not knowing whether I was doing things correctly. Over time, through trial and error and making rookie mistakes, I learned some valuable lessons and gained important insights. To save you from going down the same winding path, I’ll share some of the important takeaways that I’ve learned so far, like how to gain a solid user base, what to include in your themes and, most importantly, what to leave out.


You could build the best WordPress theme in the world, but it won’t matter unless people know about it and use it. One of the smartest things I did when starting my theme business was to release a free theme. It took a while for it to gain traction, but things took off once it got some attention from being featured on other websites. Consumers are willing to download a free theme from the new kid on the block and try it out because hardly any financial risk is involved.


Web Designer, Be Your Best Promoter

Have you ever had someone flirt with you and they did nothing but demean themselves the whole time? Did that make you attracted to them? Doubtful. Yet, this is how so many individuals seem to handle their business today. With the advent of social media, the Web has been overflooded with individuals claiming that they are experts at everything. It has become so rampant that whenever I come to see someone label themselves as an expert I immediately believe they are trying to pull a fast one on me.

Unfortunately, many times these people get business because there are people out there who really do believe that they are experts. How many great designers do you know out there who struggle to find clients, while the world's worst Microsoft Frontpage jockey can't keep client offers out of his inbox? I know some of you reading this are dying to get more clients or more users to the app you created. Obviously, to get more people you need to let more people know about you and that doesn't happen unless you say something.


Supporting Your Product: How To Provide Technical Support

Users will always need support. You could have a bulletproof product and the most excellent tutorials and documentation, and someone will find a way to break it or just not read the information staring them in the face. Later in this article, I’ll explain some ways to minimize support requests and the time spent in dealing with them. But you should expect to offer support and build it into the price of your product.

Your support systems should also help you track the amount of time being taken up by support, so that you can plan for future requirements. If you are a small company whose product developers are supporting the product at present, knowing the amount of time each license or user requires for support on average will enable you to project when you might need to hire additional support staff.


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