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too many cooks...


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&nsbp;

#1 bleutuna

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Posted 15 March 2004 - 01:23 AM

one of the things about this site that keeps me from participating is the level of client interaction.

clients know what they want to some degree, but they don't know design. if they did, then there'd be no reason for them to come to a site like this or to hire designers - they would do all the work themselves. designers serve a purpose, and that's to put a visual image with a concept these business people have.

there is far too much client interaction here as far as I'm concerned, way too much pixel pushing. HOW magazine recently did a very good article on dealing with clients, and one of the key facts is that clients often do more harm than good. a suggestion here and there is more than helpful - it's a necessity, but granular level suggestions only serve to muddy and dilute the design past the point of effectiveness.

this site could really become a driving force, in my opinion, in the graphic design world - if they'd get some things changed:

1) Contests aren't done in this "forum", they're done through a main site itself. This is the crux of what designcontest.com is here for - and it should be treated with respect, attention, and excitement. Not as an after thought on a message board.

2) Clients have limited interaction with designers. keywords, company personality, target audience, etc. should be provided up front, with each client being "given" 1 email per logo submission to a designer. When a second design is submitted, then the client can once again comment on the design.

3) Financial penalties are applied to clients who don't make a decision within a week. This site should charge a fee to start a contest, and enter into a contract that a decision must be made by a certain period of time or else penalties apply.

4) Designs should be hosted locally, on this site, and designers should be limited to the number of ideas they can submit. Creating 150 logos isn't going to do a good job, especially if 148 of them are mediocre. Trash the ones that don't knock you off your feet and submit only the ones that are the best.

6) Winners should be celebrated, and their logos featured prominently on the site itself, so potential participants know how well this site works.

Again, I think the concept here is brilliant, but the execution seems way too overblown and chaotic. There's a mindlessness going on here, one that I think degrades designers into trained monkeys and not the artists we truly are.

thoughts?

#2 pureda

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 06:47 PM

Bleutuna,

I have to say I agree 100% on everything you said in your post.



Jennifer

#3 Daywalker

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 06:32 PM

Yeah, words of wisdom, i agree too
More knowledge, more headache. Less knowledge, even more headache...

#4 brochris

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 09:02 AM

Yep, I've been coming here watching contests, but I haven't entered a single one.

I read today that "anybody can be a web designer" and that "everything web designers make goes to profit" implying that we should get paid way less than we already do. I don't know about any of you, but when I filed taxes this year, my income made from web design was taxed horribly. If I didn't like doing it as a hobby, I'd definately stop designing simply because it has not been a good source of income for me. The art is not appreciated enough by most people to be paid what it's worth.

#5 Qeffects

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 12:40 PM

thats exactly what ive been thinking, "anyone can be a webdesigner" so i think to myself why should i? i know i could do it but why should i do something when i will have to convince every client their nephew or son may be able to make a "website" but with the standards of today there will be a big difference. (i have plenty of time to think about this though ;) ) flash/design and everything is probably the best computing job so thats why i would like to do it but then again everyone will want to do CGI movies and 3d work so im still unsure. what is there left :confused:

wow off topic sorry

#6 Shyflower

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 02:27 PM

Yep, I've been coming here watching contests, but I haven't entered a single one.

I read today that "anybody can be a web designer" and that "everything web designers make goes to profit" implying that we should get paid way less than we already do. I don't know about any of you, but when I filed taxes this year, my income made from web design was taxed horribly. If I didn't like doing it as a hobby, I'd definately stop designing simply because it has not been a good source of income for me. The art is not appreciated enough by most people to be paid what it's worth.


I agree with you that we are way underpaid for what we do and the amount of time it takes. However, I don't agree that "anyone" can be a web designer. It seems in this day of WYSIWYG everyone "thinks" they can, but few put up a site that is navigable, eye-appealing, and content ready all-in-one.

I guess it's our job to sell our clients on the idea that we can and "do" that integration of content, navigation, and art that will get them the result they want from their site.

I do a lot of work with authors and often their mindset is "I wrote the book, now you make it sell". When in truth, they need to take an active voice in promoting what they have done. I think it's the same with a lot of designers. We have the mindset, "I can do this... why don't you hire me". When in truth we should be telling our clients, "I can do this and here's why you should hire me to do it for you!"

#7 Qeffects

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 04:57 PM

would you ever think to take webdesign as a career on its own though? ive been looking into learning some other stuff but still based in web/flash design as networking or such while i could live with it easily i feel is pretty boring and all written work.

#8 browncat

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 05:12 PM

I think clients can often get a better design for less money than if they hired a single designer to create the design. Also, the designers can benefit from seeing how other designers approach the same problem.
On the other hand, I think the clients should be more specific about what they want from the beginning. I also think the various discussion forums should be more separate from the contest forums.
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BROWN CAT DESIGN

#9 Shyflower

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 05:30 PM

would you ever think to take webdesign as a career on its own though? ive been looking into learning some other stuff but still based in web/flash design as networking or such while i could live with it easily i feel is pretty boring and all written work.


I already did... that along with editing. :)

I worked for many years in a number of jobs that didn't make me happy. When I had the opportunity to do what I enjoyed, I took it. Some weeks are rougher than others, but I truly believe that people should do what they believe they have a talent for doing and what they enjoy doing. Usually, I think the two (talent and enjoyment) go hand in hand.

Let an old lady be philosophical for a moment: When you think about it, all you truly own is your time. If you sell that to someone else, then you don't even own that. That's why I freelance web design and editing. I rent my time, not sell it, and it's done at my pace on my schedule. In the meantime, it's a bonus that I get to do what I enjoy doing. :)

#10 Qeffects

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Posted 02 May 2004 - 10:10 AM

well i would not like to be doing freelance design when im older as it sounds very unstable and i would rather have a set pay and salary.
i guess working for companies, in that way you would get a set pay and salary because they would just keep throwing new projects at you? i guess i feel like i wanna know what im gonna do in the future n just get really good at it now. truth is you just get worn out if u do it so long :(

#11 g_wulfwud

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 03:01 AM

Let an old lady be philosophical for a moment: When you think about it, all you truly own is your time. If you sell that to someone else, then you don't even own that. That's why I freelance web design and editing. I rent my time, not sell it, and it's done at my pace on my schedule. In the meantime, it's a bonus that I get to do what I enjoy doing. :)



Very Very true indeed! :) Having a job that you really enjoy wont make you feel working at all..makes it more like playing..

#12 exogen

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Posted 13 May 2004 - 03:47 AM

Some excellent points brought up here...

1) Contests aren't done in this "forum", they're done through a main site itself...


I agree that the whole forum deal isn't a very good middle-man for the type of communication / presentation something like a design contest requires. However, the solution would very much resemble a very simplified forum. This isn't the biggest problem, but someone should look into building a framework to do this.

2) Clients have limited interaction with designers. keywords, company personality, target audience, etc. should be provided up front, with each client being "given" 1 email per logo submission to a designer. When a second design is submitted, then the client can once again comment on the design.


One comment per submitted logo is really all I see from clients anyway. The interaction isn't the problem -- the problem is that most of the clients are web site managers, small business owners or site coders. The type of client you're expecting is a marketer -- someone who knows what will appeal to their audience, but doesn't have the artistic or technical ability to create it from scratch.

Back to the interaction... it would definitely be helpful to REQUIRE some level of feedback for each submitted logo, even if it just a binary 'Accept' or 'Reject' button. Sometimes feedback is left for a few designers and the others are left in the cold wondering if the client just didn't see theirs or didn't like it or what.

3) Financial penalties are applied to clients who don't make a decision within a week. This site should charge a fee to start a contest, and enter into a contract that a decision must be made by a certain period of time or else penalties apply.


There could be an improvement in this area. Sometimes it seems like clients 'forget' about their threads.

4) Designs should be hosted locally, on this site, and designers should be limited to the number of ideas they can submit. Creating 150 logos isn't going to do a good job, especially if 148 of them are mediocre. Trash the ones that don't knock you off your feet and submit only the ones that are the best.


Agreed on the local hosting, but the limited submission part is kinda iffy. Clients aren't artists or designers obviously, so even just a small variation of a logo they might not have been able to visualize if it hadn't been presented. Besides, what qualifies as a 'logo'? A piece of imagery, or an image file? What if you submit 5 logos in one image file? What if they look just a bit similar? It would be hard to limit this.

6) Winners should be celebrated, and their logos featured prominently on the site itself, so potential participants know how well this site works.


Agreed.

#13 Blu I

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 05:35 PM

Wow I'm surprised so many agreed with what has been said. Now I'm not sure if most of the guys here are hobbyists or "part-timer" but I freelance for a living and if there one thing I always to is keep close contact with the client.

Saying that they have to much input to me seem silly cause if there not getting what they want, just what you think is good then the project mine as well be thrown out the door.

I know on many project I made like 20 revision of a logo or company design. I think the one thing that needs to be made clear before hand is that the more time it take to finish the project the more money it going to cost.

Now in a place like this were your just submitting you design and getting feed back well yeah there going to be alot of interaction because of the way of communicating aka "forums".

Personally I don't think you should just say to your clients hey listen I did 6 version this the last one take it or not. It doesnt work that way. Remember it your job to give the client what they want not the other way around.

Just some thoughts.

#14 brochris

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 08:24 PM

That's a very good point Blu, and thanks for the reminder! Almost every time I make a site, there's always some little thing that my clients wants me to change that I need to go back to the beginning to change, and therefore redo just about everything. It's always faster the second time around though, since you already have the concept and planning out of the way, but it can sometimes be frustrating!!!

#15 Blu I

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 10:21 PM

Oh for sure it can be frustrating specially if your not getting paid for the extra time,which in some cases happens. All I'm trying to say is that just remember your in the biz to make you clients happy, even if there a pain in butt! lol

Peace!

#16 exogen

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 10:21 PM

While I always keep in mind that what I'm making is, of course, for the client and the client alone, I think part of the reason it can get so frustrating is that in this context (a site with forums), extra work does not lead to extra pay. Also, since we're not physically meeting with the client, it can be hard to communicate with words (on both sides) something graphical. If a system as described above were implemented, I'd like to see the client have to submit a certain amount of extra money per revision they'd like.




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