Title: Design is a Job - Mike Monteiro. Page number ISSUU Downloader is a free to use tool for downloading any book or publication on ISSUU. By using. Co-founder of Mule Design and raconteur Mike Monteiro wants to help you do your job better. From contracts to selling design, from working. Well written. Very helpful for the everyday life of designers. The types of questions covered: How do we deal with clients? How do we convey value? How do we.
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Co-founder of Mule Design and raconteur Mike Monteiro wants to help you do your job Jacinthe Busson attached Design Is a ronaldweinland.info to [Book] Design is a Job. Brief books for people who make websites. Mike Monteiro. Design is a job Foreword by Erik Spiekermann. 7 No. As one of the book compilations to recommend, this Design Is A Job By Mike Monteiro has some solid reasons for you to review. This publication is really.
Monteiro is a trawler on social media platforms that has earned a reputation as an advocate for the designer process, he prefers simple sites, elegant lines and to-the-point language Figure 2: Mike Monteiro that fulfils a real need Goodreads, b. Mike Monteiro, Typotalk, Design is a Job Image From: Mike Monteiro as a writer is confident, to the Typotalk, point, occasionally sarcastic, and generally funny. On numerous occasions throughout this book there is a good chance the reader will find themselves laughing out loud as he draws on his own experiences in the design industry to explain the lessons he has learnt. Although Monteiro writes from a web designers perspective, his use of metaphors and analogies makes his lessons easily applicable to anyone familiar with the design process. The industry is littered with many self help, or guide to books, but Design is a Job takes a slightly abnormal approach. His book offers years and years of working experience in less than a hundred and fifty pages, his advice is timeless and is applicable to anyone working as or dealing with designers.
I am tired of you working nights and weekends. I am tired of you doing spec work because someone has convinced you it will look good in your portfolio. I am tired of you sitting by and hoping the work sells itself. So I wrote you a book.
In pages he covers the following: choosing the right clients, charging for your work, working with contracts, sticking to your process, getting your money, and more.
You can read the preview chapter on getting clients, online. I ordered it the day it came out, and read it that afternoon. Monteiro has a very direct but warm writing style which makes the book accessible and authentic.
Monteiro has an entire chapter on working with contracts. Assign a cost and a benefit to each one. Then figure out which ones are crucial to the project and which ones would be nice to have.
Figure out which ones actually fit into their overall goals. Explain how the services are interconnected. When your mechanic presents you with a bill, you may cringe; but when he goes over the itemized list you begin to see how that figure got there, and you see the care and concern that went into preparing that number. Your job is to treat your time and expertise as if it has that same set cost.
Of course we are. That should be a highly profitable job. Quite often these were the same designers on consecutive days. In either situation, what the client pays for is that solution, not the time it took you to get there. If it should take you less time than what was estimated and agreed to, and that estimate was created honestly based on previous similar work: I have actually sat on work for a few extra days and waited to deliver it closer to the estimated date just to avoid this conversation.
Once you consider yourself capable, turn the meter on. Large jobs vs. I trained with a guy named Frank. Frank laughed and laughed. He laughed even harder. I really liked Frank. The box was filled with ball bearings, by the way. The moral of this story is that small jobs contain the same kinds of problems as big jobs, minus the budget and the time to deal with them adequately. Remember, a small job for you is not necessarily a small job for the client.
Getting your price Mention ballparks early to avoid sticker shock As a kid I was lucky enough to be raised in the fine city of Philadelphia holla! Veterans Stadium was one of those terrible multi-use complexes built in the 70s that tarnished the landscape in several cities across America.
If a potential client is going to have sticker shock, get it over with as soon as possible. Nothing in your proposal should be a surprise Some people treat proposals like they are passing a number in a folded piece of paper across a table to be peeked at and then accepted or rejected.
Just as a design project requires client input and feedback along the way, so does a proposal. Start with a high-level draft and iterate quickly, with the client offering insight into anything that may trip up their team and pointing out potential roadblocks. The frank and open communication you begin here will serve you well throughout the project. You need to expose all implicit assumptions because the road to feeling ripped off is paved with assumptions about what you were getting.
You and the client may agree on a number and have radically different ideas of what that number includes. Another way to handle this is to list everything that needs to be done on the project and who is responsible for it, whether it is you, the client, or a third even as-yet-unnamed party. You compile this list by means of a phone call or in-person conversation in which you go through the list of everything that you anticipate will need to be done and ask the client who they would like to be responsible for that work.
Everything you are responsible for goes into your estimate. Here is a short list of terrible surprises to avoid, just to give you an idea: Putting together a proposal can be such an onerous and timeconsuming job that getting it all wrapped up can feel like a victory. And it is—of sorts. A proposal is a prop for a sales presentation.
Everything you learned while preparing the proposal should be at your disposal. Read the room. Go over as much or as little detail as the room requires. Make sure you go over key benefits of the proposal. You sell benefits. You are convincing them to hire you, not accept your proposal. The proposal is merely one data point toward that decision.
Your presentation skills will decide how big a data point it is. Three things can happen now: And guess whose porridge is just right? Getting the job right away? You will learn to love it as well. First off, congratulations on having the confidence to bid high but not too high!
Second, your high bid did not scare off the client. The client is asking you to close the deal. You need to sound confident as hell that not only did you bid correctly, but that you are the best possible fit for this job.
And by going into detail about how you got to that price, you can show them that you have a detailed understanding of what it will take to get that job done. Which, by the way, you better have. Also, this is an opportunity to build yourself up, not tear others down.
Quite the opposite. You want to get the job because you were the right person for it. You will know you charged too little if the client agrees right away. Ideally, your price should require a bit of negotiation. If the client wants the price lowered, go over all the items in the proposal and find out what can be cut. Never lower the price without taking something away. And never take something away without explaining the lost benefit.
So if you want to pay less you have to be willing to get less.
And when I talk about things to cut I am talking about the amount of stuff the client will have delivered to them, i. So negotiate from a place of confidence.
That means being okay with not getting the job. This is different from a client who values your work but is stuck with a fixed budget. We all know what up-talking is, right?
The next time you have dinner with a bunch of people pay attention to how they give the waiter their order. Actually, that was wrong. You should have weeded those clients. How can you prevent them from doing it? Well, present with confidence and conviction and back your numbers up with good solid research, of course.
But more important than trying to prevent them from doing it is how to address it when it happens. Stand your ground. You gave your price. This is my price. This is what it costs to work with me. But you will also feel better about the work you get. You may even get a reputation as a hard-ass. In summary Look, money is hard. It took me years to get comfortable with the idea of being a financial grownup. And I doubt many of you got into this business for the money.
But to practice your craft you need to keep the lights on, and you need your financial house in order. Now that I think of it, I just accidentally gave you the secret to life, which I was saving for another book. You know; the talk. Where one—or good grief, both—of your parents pulls you aside and attempts to talk to you about sex. And being safe. And respecting one another.
And protection. Some of us, including me, have now had to give the talk to our own teenagers. We trust each other. They have an agile process.
See how I lured you into a chapter about contracts with tawdry sex talk? In the last chapter we learned how to convince clients to work with us. Everything was great. What went wrong? Why a contract? A contract establishes the nature of the relationship between all parties and makes the important stuff clear to everyone involved: What are the ground rules for working together?
How much money is exchanged and at what point? What are the deliverables, and when are they due? What happens if there is a delay? Who has what rights? What rights does the client get and when? Which do you retain? And very importantly, a contract states what should happen if everything goes to hell. No one goes into a relationship with the intention to screw the other party, but things happen. Markets collapse. Funding falls through. Leadership changes.
Then there are deadlines. They get missed on both sides. You can prevent a lot of weirdness—expensive, painful weirdness—down the road if you clarify all this up front. Getting entangled in ambiguity or dealing with a legal dispute keeps you from getting paid for your work, creates a huge amount of frustration, threatens your reputation your most important asset , and keeps you from spending your day designing stuff.
In short, a contract is what you need to start building trust between all parties. No contract, no basis for trust. Get a lawyer a love story Many, many years ago when our company was still in its infancy we were working with a particular client on a website.
The project was going well enough. The client, for whatever reason, had decided he was dissatisfied with our design solutions. It happens. We work through it. Small aside here: Professional courtesy.
More on that in Chapter So we pulled him aside and talked to him about it. Contract conversations should happen in person, if at all possible, and never in front of the whole team. Gives everyone a chance to save face. Unfortunately the client did not see it the way we did and threatened to sue us for refusing to finish the project. Not having been in business for very long, and not having huge reserves of cash, we freaked out.
Several conversations with the client only seemed to make things worse. We knew we needed a lawyer, and fortunately we remembered the name of the friendly corporate counsel from a previous employer. His name is Gabe. Sadly, we had to fire the client. Yes, sadly. But we were able to walk away relatively unscathed, with a lesson learned. Most importantly, we added a valuable member to our team: Gabe Levine is still with us to this day.
He solidified all our standard contracts, reviews incoming contracts, gives us client relationship advice, and has even come on stage with me when I talk about contracts.
Why am I waxing so rhapsodic about my lawyer? He makes sure my contracts are strong and helps me negotiate with confidence. But most of all, I love my lawyer because he makes me money. But so do you! The better our contracts, the more secure our client relationships.
And ultimately he is trained and knowledgeable in things that I am not. I happily write two checks every month. How to introduce your client and your lawyer For the most part your lawyer is an invisible advisor. She should review all of your contracts, but she rarely exposes herself to the client. They are likely doing the same. It usually saves a lot of time. Heck, they probably went to school together. Only lawyers talk to other lawyers. Sometimes negotiating a very large project requires a friendly conference call with everyone and their lawyers.
You can accomplish in one hour what might take days exchanging tracked changes. The client is upset you have a lawyer. This is a huge red flag. Or, everyone is fine with it and you reschedule when your lawyer can join in. Your lawyer is a defensive asset and not to be weaponized unless absolutely necessary. A larger company may also refuse to sign your contract, and ask you to sign theirs instead. Contracts protect both parties Every relationship you have has an implicit contract.
You hold the door open for the person behind you. You take turns merging into traffic. These are the implicit contracts that keep society moving along at a nice pleasant clip. But what happens when these implicit contracts go wrong?
Tension builds and, eventually, arguments arise because one party believed the other party was responsible for behaving a certain way. This is why I had my lawyer draw up a contract between me and my kid. Having an explicit understanding of what is expected from both parties in a relationship—an explicit agreement of what happens should something go wrong—relieves that tension.
People go into a business arrangement with the best of intentions and a lot of assumptions. A contract makes those assumptions explicit by documenting the terms of engagement clearly.
If any red flags or concerns come up during the business development process, make sure those are addressed in the contract. Unless they are so big and unresolvable that you need to walk away. Make sure a certain amount of visits to their office are baked into the contract. Make sure your contract protects you adequately.
The larger and more established the organization, the more heinously skewed in their favor their terms are going to be. There will always be other clients. You have convinced someone with some amount of authority that your work is indispensable to their success. That is influence and leverage.
Contract negotiations expose misunderstandings Some of the essential terms—like the estimated price and key deliverables—get fleshed out as you negotiate the statement of work with your client.
However, a lot of gray areas may appear during this process. Or when you deliver Photoshop files of the final design? When the client is subjectively satisfied with your work? Does the client need to send you written approval? Settle the terms of the relationship first and save the arguments for the design. What makes a good contract? A contract defines the relationship between two or more parties. A statement of work defines a specific project, while a contract can cover a multitude of statements of work.
Approach contract negotiation in the spirit of fairness while being aware of the balance of power. Who is fundamentally in the pole position? So if you have a good handle on what their anxieties are, you can address them without gutting essential protections. If you are dealing with a large organization that has enough lawyers sitting around to sue you out of existence in their free time, you need to stick to your guns.
Make sure your contract includes all of the following:. Intellectual property IP transfers on full payment This simple little idea protects you from doing the work and getting shafted. Most clients are eager to get the IP to their work, because until they do, you can make a claim on money they make through that work.
Also, you can request it back. Termination fee or kill fee A termination fee protects you from walking away emptyhanded should a client kill the job for reasons that are out of your control. Lots of clients will balk at a kill fee because they think it means that you can walk out on a contract, and still make them pay.
Not true. A fair contract is binding on both sides. Neither party can walk away without just cause. As a basic rule of thumb: Deliverables acceptance language This goes a long way toward making clients more comfortable with the provisions in your favor, such as the kill fee.
The contract should state that if the client is not happy with your work they need to let you know and give you a chance to address the problem, but ultimately they can, for all intents and purposes, fire you. That means you keep the work though. Do not get fired and deliver the work. It sucked, remember? This work is terrible! And the portions are so small! Unreasonable indemnity language This protects the client from using you as a human shield.
For example: Ultimately the client could decide to sue you instead. But indemnity means that if the client got sued they could hold you responsible for their losses. Warranties While you certainly design for success, and test accordingly, you simply cannot guarantee that a design will meet goals. That was the end of that conversation. It merely addresses what should happen when they do.
There is no substitute for a solid client relationship coupled with good quality work—those are what make projects go well. We have a contract! A contract is not a parking lot for red flags. There will always be other jobs. Enforcing the contract Once both parties have agreed to terms, signed the contract, and exchanged copies, put it away. The vast majority of these should be handled with civil conversations, always in person when possible.
Handling disputes with conversation will eventually build the client relationship. Pulling out the contract at every possible opportunity will only undermine the relationship. Save it for those moments when things have actually gotten bad. For example, if you have agreed to get approval in writing at every milestone, do that consistently. But approach it with a positive attitude. Assume both parties want to fix it. This will be an account-level conversation. You and the client, one on one.
Never whip out the contract in front of either team. The goal is always to finish the project well. Never threaten your client with your lawyer or with legal action until your lawyer tells you to do so. If a jerk like me can do this, you certainly can. In ten years of business, I have never taken a client to court. Working with friends The design and tech communities are small. You still need to sell yourself as with any other client. The sort of stuff you feel funny about asking a contract for.
Until your buddy sells his pet project. Now we have tension. If you insist on doing these projects, at the very least have a conversation about possible outcomes and detail your decisions in an email to each other.
A while back we were contacted about a project. A nice one; high-profile client, good budget, realistic timeline. We wanted it. We had an initial phone call with the principals and got even more excited about it. They were smart. Asked us really good questions, we gave really good answers.
They told us us they were talking to a few different agencies, which never scares us. All-around good first impression. A few days later the client told us they were asking the candidates to sketch some concepts for the proposed site to help them make their decision.
And get this! They even offered to pay for it. Not bad, right? We said no. Technical constraints, editorial process, content strategy, etc. We needed to understand and define the problem we were. Then, and only then, would we propose a solution. Sure, our sites are pretty, but more importantly, they work pretty well.
They meet goals. We told them that if we were just to do some quick sketches, without the benefit of discussion and research, the ideas would inevitably be wrong. Which sucks, because it was a really good job, and I really wanted to do it. But the only way I could do it was if they understood and respected our process. And the next time I had that same conversation with a client it was just a little less scary.
Your process is what enables you to do good work. But it will be the framework you will use to do your work. As we tell potential clients when they ask us what their site will look like: But we know what the process is for finding out.
Successful people, like you, will be conscious of it. Mind you, waking up every morning, going to a job you hate, and crying in a bathroom stall before lunch is also a process.
Your successful process has also led you to enough good work that people want to keep hiring you to do more work. So, why is it that the first thing a client does upon hiring you is attempt to break the process that got them to hire you in the first place? I started this chapter with a story about a client who attempted to break our process. Which would have resulted in the exact opposite of what they were trying to achieve.
Their goal was to ensure that they got good work. And they came up with a plan they felt did that. Their plans, however, are a whole other matter. Planning how to achieve a goal needs to be something you take charge of. I addressed their actual concern. And presented my own plan. And they were open-minded enough to listen to it, and I managed to convince them their goals would be better met with my plan than theirs. Just as importantly, I followed up by achieving that goal.
Now should a client immediately step off the minute you announce you have a process? You need to sell. When a client hires you they are hiring your process as well, but you need to sell them on that process as the reason you do good work. And that needs to be done as part of the hiring process, not after.
Making the next time you have to do this that much less scary. Our process works. So will yours. If you stick to it. And fight for it. Why companies attempt to break your process Companies love talking a studio out of the process that got them to hire them. Which is akin to signing Roy Halladay and then asking him to play the outfield. Roy Halladay is possibly the greatest pitcher of his generation.
So they should put him at a position that plays every day, instead of having him pitch. Starting pitchers go once every five days. In this metaphor baseball is standing in for design and the stupid VP is still the stupid VP. So why would someone do this?
Anxiety about having spent the money. Anxiety at having made the wrong decision. And ultimately, anxiety about their own job security should they have made the wrong decision in hiring you. When people get anxious they fall back into the terrible habits that make up their comfort places. Throughout a project you may have to remind a client multiple times that they agreed to follow your process.
And throughout a project you will have to convince a client that. There will be hand-holding. There will be tough love. But above all, you will have to stand your ground and stick to what you know works. Start drawing solving before you fully understand the problem This is a no.
The anxiety here comes from a basic misunderstanding that they hired you to design and design is pictures. You need to start every project with an explanation of what designing something looks like. And how all the pieces fit together. Work out of order You know what the least important page of a website is?
The home page. Yet this is the page clients want to see the most. I often describe it as building the roof of the house first and then letting it sit until we go back and build the walls.
I hate starting with the home page. So, we give them a home page. And while they debate its merits we get cranking on the rest of the site. So we can just hand it to you and skip that whole phase. The second most common instance is clients developing competing visuals. Plus, you need the room to try things that may or may not be right without the cavalry being called in. The competition is over.
Control or block your access to people Welcome to the world of internal dysfunction. Have a talk with Bob before the project starts. Make sure he knows that you will need direct access to people to do the project. Rush I love having a sense of urgency around a project. But certain things will take the time they will take.
I have tried this, and it is true! And I guarantee you that the client who wants to rush the most is the same one that spent a month or more waffling to sign the job. You can protect yourself against this by making sure your client understands the repercussions of waffling. Everything on a project has a cost associated with it. Be it time or money or both.
So when asking them to make a decision, make sure to also tell them the cost associated with it. But anything beyond a decision by 6 p. You can do a lot to show a client how valuable time is in how you comport yourself throughout the project.
I once took a job writing for an awful content farm site. The work was demeaning in the sense that they were paying me way less than my words were worth and forced me to write less than I was capable of by making me get approval on stories, but waiting a week or so to give the approval. I worked hard at writing good content. I knew damn well it was better content than anyone else on the site was writing.
When they sent my first payment, I felt like I had completely devalued myself. Had I read this book before I took that job I probably never would have taken it.
If you want the inspiration to do better, be better, make better things, be a more confident person who values your time and your self, then read Design is a Job.