Category: Business

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Business / 2 Aug 2017

15 Must-Ask Questions When Taking on a Website Project

The beginning of any new website design project can be a little nerve-wracking. Trying to determine if your style will match the client’s demands is often a challenge.

Add on trying to decide what to charge, and taking on a new client can be a freelance web designer’s biggest nightmare. When you do it right, the relationship and the project can be rewarding, but a miscue can make your life pretty miserable for the duration of the project.

Doing your homework at the start can help. Do you know what questions to ask a client to get the best information you need for a project? Don’t worry if you said “no,” we’ve got a checklist here for you!

Business / 6 Jul 2017

6 Portfolio Design Mistakes That Drive Me Nuts

Your public portfolio is one of the most important things you’ll ever design. It presents you to the world and, if you’re a freelancer, tends to play a major role in whether or not people choose to hire you.

I’ve viewed a ton of online portfolios and today I’d like to walk through some of the weaknesses I see time and time again. Read on to see if you’ve made some of these mistakes.

Business / 23 Jun 2017

10 Awful Client Cliches That Make Every Designer Cringe

This is the third part in our series all about making fun of design related clichés that drive us all crazy. We put out the word on Twitter and asked for some of the worst things that you hear again and again from clients. The following are some of our favorites!

We’ve already picked on designers plenty with 5 Former Design Trends That Aren’t Cool Anymore and 5 Cliché Logo Design Trends to Avoid, now it’s time to turn around and give some attention to all the crazy things that clients say to their designers. There’s no shortage of cliches to choose from!

Business / 19 Jun 2017

7 Ways to Save Time as a Designer

“If only I had more time!” Do you hear yourself saying this about projects from time to time? (I know I’m guilty.) Time can be one of the biggest obstacles to getting more done as a freelance designer.

But you can find more time and get more done — and that’s good for your bottom line. We’re not going to bore you with theoretical advice. This is a set of practical tips and suggestions you can start thinking about right now!

Business / 22 May 2017

15 Skills Every Design Client Expects You to Have

While every design project is a little bit different, almost every client expects you to be a jack of all trades to some degree. Regardless of the project, designers are often expected to provide a complete solution for clients, even though most of us don’t have all the same skills.

In addition to design, clients may ask for expertise in marketing, code, or illustration. It can be a difficult balance at times. But knowing what clients might expect can help you have a plan for how to deal with specific requests, whether it is offering a referral to someone else or adding a new skill to your portfolio.

Most of these examples come from personal experience. And while I didn’t fulfill all the requested needs, seeing what a client expects from their perspective is an interesting exercise!

Business / 17 May 2017

How Many Design Options Should You Show a Client?

You’ve been working on a client project for a little while now. It could be a website design, brochure, or something else altogether — but you’ve spent some time on it. You like the concept. Is that all you need to go back to the client with? Or do you need to create a couple more options for the design review?

There’s a balance of creating enough for a client to choose from, and avoiding work that you know will certainly just get thrown aside. If you know the client well, chances are you can present just one design option. (Seriously!)

Accessibility / 26 Apr 2017

How Do We Design Hard Stuff for the Big Problems People Hate Most?

Design exists to solve problems. As you’ve likely heard before, design isn’t an act of creative self-expression but rather a process of problem solving. So why aren’t we hearing about amazing design breakthroughs that address the world’s biggest problems?

As legendary ‘I Love New York’ designer Milton Glaser once said, “Design is the process of going from an existing conditions to a preferred one.” But what existing condition does the world need our help with?

There are several respected global organizations who work towards great causes, in areas such as Food and Water Security, Economic Opportunity, Climate Change and the Environment, Social Equity and Good Governance (Healthcare, Safety, Security and Education).

You’ll notice how none of these items are addressed by selfie apps in the top ten of your local app store. So why aren’t we hearing about amazing design breakthroughs that address the world’s biggest problems?

Business / 24 Apr 2017

Every Freelancer Screws Up; Make Sure to Recover Well

It’s going to happen. Every freelancer makes mistakes. Some of them are big and can impact client relationships, while others are more internal and affect your workflow and processes.

There’s one similarity though – how you recover from these mistakes will say more about your freelance career than making them. But how do you recover from the embarrassment of messing something up? Often it requires just a bit of humility.

Business / 10 Apr 2017

Good Design Starts With Real Content

You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king.” Cliches aside, it really is. When it comes to website design, quality content is the cog that powers usability, user flow and conversions.

You need real and authentic elements to create a connection with users to engage them. The best designs start with content that is close to the final product, and designers should be reluctant to work with anything less. But what is real content anyway? Here’s a guide to get you started.

Business / 5 Apr 2017

Paperless Documentation Is Easy With Eversign

More businesses are trying to find ways to go paperless. Eversign is a great tool that can help you cut the clutter from all those paper documents.

Eversign is a free, online app that helps you create legally binding electronic signatures for work or personal projects. The platform allows users to approve, deliver and sign documents online without printing or scanning a single form. Here’s a look at how it works.

Business / 27 Mar 2017

5 Rules for Designing an Effective Ad Campaign

Designers have to wear a lot of hats these days. You might create a website one day, a brochure the next, and an ad campaign for print or social media after that.

And while many of these projects all rely on the same theories of design and an eye for what looks good, there are some differences that can impact the success of certain projects. Designing ad campaigns can be tricky if you haven’t done a lot of it. The canvas is often small and doesn’t give you a lot of room for error. You get just one chance to hook a user with design and information. Here’s how to do it.

Business / 8 Mar 2017

5 Tips for a Better Freelance Resume

When was the last time you updated your resume? This is one of those things that freelancers often forget to do when they aren’t seeking a full-time employer.

It’s a lot easier to keep up with your resume all the time rather than rush to update it when the need arises. It’s even becoming more common that clients will ask to see a resume before hiring a freelancer for work. Potential clients will probably check you out online, and your resume needs to be fresh on your website or LinkedIn profile.

Don’t put it off any longer. Try these five tips to freshen up your resume so you can get an updated version ready to go this week!