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Webmaster Articles > Working with Clients - Page 2


Whether you work for an agency or an internal web team, working well with clients is integral to the success of your web projects. Here is a collection of articles to help you do it better.

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Never Get Involved in a Land War in Asia

Throughout these projects, one thing has remained a constant: those with clear, well-written, strategies ran smoother than those without — and ended up pleasing everyone, including the client.

The Problem, the Balloon, and the Four Bedroom House

Without a problem, there is no project. Where there is a problem, however, there is a stakeholder who is desperate for a solution and who has a delivery deadline. Find out how a good process can tame even the most unruly project.

What's the Problem?

One of the biggest problems in delivering a website, and yet probably the least talked and written about, is how to decide, specify, and communicate just what, exactly, is it that we're going to build, and why.

Use Cases Part II: Taming Scope

The use-case model can be a powerful tool for controlling scope throughout a project's life cycle.

The Ultimate Design Brief

The best projects are borne from briefs that are open enough to inspire ideas, while being specific enough to feel workable.

How to Write a Web Site Creative Brief

Writing a clear, well-structured creative brief will get your web project off to a good start and keep it on track.

Get Out from Behind the Curtain

When used at critical points in the design process, these sessions build strong, respectful relationships. Since clients directly experience the design work, you don't need to sell clients on an idea — they were with you the whole time.

Questions to Ask at Kick-Off-Meetings

It is important to understand perceptions of the scope, vision, goals, users, and content in order to work out any differences and to move everyone into the same plan for your new site.

Stand and Deliver

The good news is that designers already have what it takes to deliver gracefully under fire. It's baked right into the job.

Successful Creative Briefs: Linking Business Objectives and Creative Strategies

The creative brief is one of the most valuable tools in the design process, providing a vital connection between business objectives and creative strategies.

Successful Web Development Methodologies

Web development need not be a hit-and-miss proposition. A unique development methodology, which allows the Web team to deliver complex projects on-time and on-budget.

Setting Up Business Stakeholder Interviews, Part 1

Interviewing is both art and science, and it is something that any UE practitioner with a little additional time and moderation skills can employ to extract clear business requirements.

Communicating Design Concepts Without Getting Skewered

A reminder to designers to not get so caught up in idea generation and specifying details that we lose sight of creating a coherent big picture for the design.

Avoid Edge Cases by Designing Up Front

Better planning and a beefed-up style guide may be exactly what you need to avoid markup derangement or, worse, a dysfunctional product.

Bridging the Gap with Requirements Definition

How do you ensure that your new product doesn't flop? One effective method is to conduct a requirements definition phase before developing a new product.

Effective Project Management for Web Geeks

The basics and tools to control the phases of a project, prepare contingencies, manage client expectations, and effectively hand over the finished product.

In Defense of Scope Creep

Scope creep distorts our carefully structured schedules, making project managers weep. Have we run out of strategies for fighting this evil scourge? Is it hopeless? Maybe not. Maybe it can even be beneficial.

Walking Through Your Product Design With Stakeholders

It's time to walk through your design approach with the project stakeholders, including management, developers, and users. What do you need to do to prepare for your presentation?

Using research to end visual design debates

Relying on subjective feedback to make design decisions can be disastrous and will result in a design that may be acceptable to your team but has no appeal to users.

Tips for Design Reviews

My thoughts on effective design reviews with product stakeholders (clients, business units, etc.).

Conducting Successful Interviews With Project Stakeholders

Interviews work very well for gaining insights from both internal and external stakeholders, as well as from actual users.

How to Manage Scope Change in a Web Project

Learn the standard techniques for defining and controlling scope, why the standard techniques seem to fail for most Web projects, and the latest best practices that seem to work for the Web.

Early and Often: How to Avoid the Design Revision Death Spiral

Through well-managed client collaboration, our designs are stronger and are more likely to serve our clients' needs and satisfy the goals of end users.

Principles of Collaborative Web Development

The basic principles of collaborative web development: identifying stakeholders, recognizing the "Chaos Zone," distinguishing the development and production phases of operation, identifying source assets, building direct feedback into work processes, and more.

Deliverables That Work: Design Description Documents

You know those things you're supposed to deliver to a client during a big project — use cases, wireframes, etc? The DDD is a tool used to package them all.

Difficult Clients

Coping with Difficult Clients

There is no magic bullet to turn your difficult clients into dream clients. However, you can learn new skills that will make them much easier to work with, so you can be spending your time delivering service and products.

Learn to Love Complaining Clients

Explains the true value of client complaints and provides a step-by-step guide to complaint resolution, showing how to make complaining clients a part of your competitive edge.

Firing a Client

You've certainly read about great ways to salvage your relationship with a problem client. But what do you do when you just want to get rid of a client?

In Defense of Difficult Clients

It's only by being forced to question our beliefs that we can be certain they're right.

How to disarm 10 difficult client observations/requests

Some of the best responses we have to questions that can often derail an otherwise effective solution.

The Client Did It: A WWW Whodunit

On the fine art of telling bad clients to buzz off.

Four Easy Lessons and a Simple Truth

A new perspective on why some of your clients are difficult and what you can do about it.

Getting Your Clients to Pay Up

Tips to help you develop a hassle-free payment strategy that's fair to both you and your clients.

What Happens if Your Clients Don't Pay?

No matter how much you guard against it, no matter how much you attempt to prevent it, you'll end up with this question.

Dollars & Sense: Setting the Perfect Rates

How much do I charge? How much is too much? How much is too little? I wonder if they will they pay that? Is my time worth that little?

Nine Factors to Consider When Determining Your Price

Part guesswork, part experience, part number crunching — how ever you look at it, determining your price is a difficult task.

Pricing Web Work — What Should You Charge?

Drawing up a quote is no simple task. Your client wants the cheapest price, but you have to make a profit. A break down of the quoting process.

Top Ten Signs You May Be Charging Too Little

Finding that pricing sweet spot where you make a great income without scaring clients away is one of the most asked about issues.

Legalese for Freelancers: Creating a Contract

Creating a contract is a vital step in ensuring a professional business that runs smoothly.

Bulletproof Web Design Contracts

Covers the issues that even the most basic Web work agreement should address, and explains why you need to make sure they're in every agreement you sign.

Writing Web Design Contracts for the Non-Legal

Learn what's the difference between a proposal and a contract, what to include, and download a sample to get you started.

Who Are You Dealing With? Client Background Check Essentials

Before you jump into an agreement with that hot new business prospect, spend a little time on research. How likely is the client to pay your invoice? Will you be legally able to enforce your contract?

The Business Case for Web Standards

The Business Value of Web Standards

Do Web standards give organizations a return on investment? Does the transition to XHTML and CSS make financial sense? The answer to those questions is yes.

Web Standards For Business

Highlights the benefits of using Web standards for business sites. It is aimed at stakeholders from the marketing, communication and IT departments.

Why tables for layout is stupid

The use of tables is now actually interfering with building a better, more accessible, flexible, and functional Web. Find out where the problems stem from, and learn solutions to create transitional or completely table-less layout.

The Business Benefits of Web Standards

Discusses how adhering to web standards, and leaving behind proprietary markup and technologies, can contribute to a company's business goals.

The business case for Web standards-based development

Building Web sites with modern standards-based techniques can reduce bandwidth costs, enhance accessibility, and facilitate content management. This article prompts you to ask whether your Web techniques are stuck in the 1990s.

Wrapping Up

Designing For Clients Made Easy

Astute designers use a number of tactics to ensure they keep the project in control, on time, and on budget … and have some creative fun along the way!

Contractor or Scapegoat? Keys to Successful Contracting

The contractor is not always to blame for project failure, despite what the project manager may say. A look at why the contractor is the perfect scapegoat — and what they can do to protect themselves.

The 10 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make, and How to Avoid Them

A look at some of the most essential mistakes that freelancers, new and old, often make, and how to avoid them.

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About the Author
Christian Watson
Smiley Cat Web Design
Web Design Blog




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