Design Dilemma Archive

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Design Dilemma: When the Client Expects You to Be a Psychic

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“I’ll know what I like when I see it” has been heard by every freelancer presenting designs to a client for approval. Unless you’re a psychic, dealing with a psycho who won’t give you direction as to what they want, preferring for you to “wow” them can mushroom a two week project into two months.

“Philip” wrote in, exasperated by a client who would look at multiple web design sketches, and turn them down, then smile and say those wondrous words of professional appreciation, “I’ll know what I like when I see it!” Naturally, unless you can read the mind of a client like this, which is usually a short story of bad grammar and jumbled thoughts, you could go on, and on, and on, never reaching a solution until the client accuses you of being a bad designer, unable to satisfy a client, etc.

November 11th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma: How Do I Turn a Temp Job Into a Staff Position?

Design Dilemma: How Do I Turn a Temp Job Into a Staff Position?

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A designer was upset that temp positions always ended after a few weeks, and she wanted to know if there was anything she could do to get hired by one of theses clients for a full time position. It’s fairly common these days, as employers test out talent on a trial basis before hiring, training and seeing how much abuse a person will take as a staff member of the company.

So, what steps could she, or anyone in her position take to show the temp employer that they are worth the salary and benefits (and even the buyout from the temp/recruiting agency)? It can be easier than one would think, but there are steps, considerations and legalities one should know to make their case for hiring stronger. Let’s take a look.

November 5th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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Design Dilemma: Are Crowdsourcing Sites Really So Bad?

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There’s no bigger hot button in the design industry than crowdsourcing. Sites like fiverr, eLance, 99designs, DesignContest, and oDesk promise digital client relationships while protecting the rights and payments of the “winners.” And therein lay the problem—these sites have winners and losers—mostly losers. But, what if you are a winner?

A designer wrote and asked if he should stay away from these sites or give them a try. He had won $1,000 in a smaller design contest for some music label and was riding high on the thought he could continue winning—and earning money.

October 15th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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Design Dilemma: Will Social Media Help Me Find Clients?

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A designer wrote that he was having trouble deciding whether or not to start using social media to promote his website/client outreach. He asked about blogging, Twitter, Facebook, ads on Facebook, etc. Those are good questions, as social media often gets a bit inflated in the minds of people who think it creates miracles. It does, but only very rarely. Otherwise, it’s hard work.

Social media outreach is free, if you don’t consider the hours you need to spend casually tweeting, adding to Facebook, Google+, and the other popular social media channels. Does a designer have the same social media needs as an ecommerce business? No.

October 7th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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Design Dilemma: Why Won’t People Share Their Contacts?

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As working professionals, we owe it to our industry to mentor those just entering the field so they can become great… and not screw it up for the rest of us by lowering rates and giving creatives a bad name. But, there’s a point of helping that’s too far, when it could impact long relationships and trust built over one’s entire career.

There’s little to no give-and-take when it comes to introductions or allowing someone to use your name for their own advancement, when you don’t really know them. Unfortunately, those who ask for these favors rarely understand why you can’t take them by the hand and shove them on top of a long-time, trusted client or friend.

September 17th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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Design Dilemma: Are Creative Temp Agencies Idiots?

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Temporary placement agencies get a bad rap from many freelance creatives. Some for good, or rather bad reasons and others because freelancers don’t understand the subtleties involved with these agencies. Understanding the good, the bad, and the ugly is one way of better dealing with temp firms… or avoiding them!

Join us as we delve into another investigative Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design.

September 3rd, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma: Working for Foreign Clients

Design Dilemma: Working for Foreign Clients

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When the internet allowed people to live and work remotely, it trumped FedEx’s overnight delivery with instant delivery. Skype and other messenger apps allowed us to speak with people all over the world and opened markets for clients anywhere. Still, the differences in national culture and language can be a problem for some people.

What do non-American clients and creatives think of us? All they hear are complaints about non-payment, demands for free work and scope creep from here to the moon. They must think we’re a nation of cheats and scammers. Are clients in other nations different? How do they handle business and creatives? So, book a flight to knowledge and wonder by joining us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the entire world of design.

August 14th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma: Why Do Clients Love Bad Design?

Design Dilemma: Why Do Clients Love Bad Design?

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It’s the bane of every creative. Why is it that clients seem to love bad design? Out of all the concepts presented to a client, why does almost every designer complain their “worst concept” is the one inevitably chosen by the client?

The dilemma “Cathy” has is a frustration with what she sees as mediocre designs around her at her job, as well as those chosen in design contests she enters (yes, we’ll cover the problem with design contests later on). So, join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design.

August 6th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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Design Dilemma: Using a Humorous Client Sales Pitch

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“How do I find clients?” is the question I get the most from beginners, as well as experienced professionals (finding work is tough these days and getting harder for freelancers).

There are certainly steps one can take but, having received this message addressed to me via the Design Dilemma email account, I had to read it to see if there was a question attached. There wasn’t, but “Bob’s” plea presented an interesting conundrum — by being “humorous” did “Bob” show his human side in hopes that someone would want to work with him or should he have made a serious sales pitch, spotlighting his past work and abilities? Let’s take a closer look.

July 23rd, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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Design Dilemma: The Changing Mind of a Client

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Most people second guess everything they do. When it comes to design, clients usually don’t understand the process. Without guidelines of how you work on a project, you can bet they’ll have their own ideas on what you will do because they are paying you.

It’s an easy fix, but it has to be done from the moment you say “hello!” to the client. Laying down rules after the project has commenced will be met with surprize and misunderstandings between you and your client, so, join us as we delve into another shocking Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design.

July 16th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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