What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
My pricing system is not complicated, but it is calculated. I look to give my clients the best product, with the most knowledge associated with it. I do not design frivolously and without true focus. I sit down with my client and get all the necessary details, the look, feel, and exactly what it is my client wishes to convey.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
My typical process is actually quite simple. When meeting with my client, I listen attentively to what they are looking for in their design project (taking plenty of good notes in the meantime). Most clients, if not all, have some type of plan for what they are trying to convey. Sometimes, a great deal of my input is requested, other times, not so much. And finally, if all goes well (and it usually does), a deposit is taken, and we begin the project.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
There is always some type of knowledge to be gained in any field. I try to take at least one or two classes a year, be they online, or at an actual college to stay up on what is current. And then there is always a wonderful search engine called google, at my fingertips, which has been a great help in just learning and keying in on industry changes.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I started web design in the mid 90's under the guise of a mentor who was deep in the web design field. I had a natural artistic talent, and wanted to pursue animation in college as a major. After trying it for a year, I found it wasn't really what I wanted to do, but graphic design, the ability to use a computer to produce works of art struck me as one of the best things since sliced bread. So I claimed animation as my minor, as I still have an aptitude for illustration, painting, and drawing, and graduated with a Studio Arts degree, emphasis Graphic Design.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I do everything from logo design, photo touch-ups, logo recreation, banner, and of course web design.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
Well, unfortunately, I haven't had just ONE project that I'm very fond of. Design, for me, is very exciting, and I love what I do. Being able to channel my talents, and do what I love is always a wonderful thing, so in essence, every project that I've worked on, I'm fond of. Now the times have varied though. I've had some sites and design projects, I've been able to knock out in a matter of days. I've also had a couple that have taken me a couple of months because of the detail, changes, or specifics of my clients.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
It's okay to not know exactly what you want in your website, but having a general idea of the look you're seeking to have is very, very helpful. Even if it's just browsing the web and getting ideas from other websites that are out there, having a jumping off point is more often than not the true key to having a successful site that captures the very essence of you, or your business.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
This profession is not as easy as one may think. While there are all types of "do it yourself" website designs, often times they are indeed set with parameters already, and the templates are pre-created. I have run across so many people who cannot fit the exact idea of what they are trying to convey in one of the template designs.