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How to make site design profitable (part2)

October 31, 2014

We discussed the question of routine in the previous article. Let’s take a look at the solutions to some of them. 

Today’s subject: Meeting 

Ideal meeting is a meeting that did not take place 

No, no, I do not talk you out of direct meetings. Do understand, however, that there should be only three of them. Presentation, signing of the documents (of course, it depends on the agreement, but...) and getting a reference letter (unless you develop a CRM, Intranet or similar where you need implementation, training, etc.). The point is that when you come to a meeting, 70-80%of time you spend discussing everything but the project itself. Meetings are especially useless at initial stages when you only need 7-15 minutes of the decision-maker’stime. The meeting is dragged out for an hour, an hour and a half, or even worse, for three or four hours. Owners or managers are sometimes not able to take responsibility or trust developers, they invite employees when the meeting already seemed to be over. “Rosie, please, call Jack, the sysadmin and Rosie from the sales department”. Of course, they are far from being familiar with the whole situation. And you start all over from the very beginning. 

Fewer meetings, less discussion, less everything beside the point. In fact, neither you nor the decision-maker needs this wastedt ime. Let us consider another alternative. A busy person with a tight schedule,or a chief manager in the process of preparation for a large-scale advertising campaignor for opening a new branch office. He cannot dedicate much time to you. As one art-director said about his boss, “... he did not even listen to you … he was waiting for the cost and the deadline, design is your business ».  

For both parties, an appointment means meeting time itself, preparation, worries, waiting time and travel time. Add 70-80% of small talk. As a result, we had meetings for final approval of all layouts after which we had an impression that we would have to start all over again. 

Clear rules of the game 

Both you and you client need clear rules of the game for successful work. Certainly, both sides will try to violate them. Your task is to do your best sticking to the rules and standing your ground. You will spend 15 minutes to explain the rules once and will save dozens of hours of your and your client’s time in the process of work. 


Successful people measure time in hours, sometimes even in minutes. They will be very grateful if you help them save time. There is a way out – as few meetings as possible. Discuss remotely as much as you can.You can solve many problems on the phone. But not completely. Remember one more rule: take record of everything.

What shall you do after all? 

Let us imagine that you have signed a contract. Your next task is to get down to designing the layout. What will you start with? Define the rules of the game. Do all the communication remotely (I am going to discuss it precisely in my next article). Use modern technologies. Customers will appreciate it, some will even apply them at their companies afterwards. You are an IT expert for them, you are a guide to the latest features. Use them yourself and show them to others. You need Google.document, Google.chart, Google.presentation; use on-line discussion tools: Skype, Viber, iMessenger; try on-line services that will let customers follow your rules: Mock Flow, (m) maquetter, etc.  

In the next article, I will tell you in details what and how to use. And I will develop the following topic that I've mentioned in the previous article. 

P.S. ( ! ) stop using only free services or saying that you do not need them. Our studio spends about $150 per month on minor services only. Actually, we buy most of them for a year and save good money on this.These costs justify themselves helping us to complete our projects faster and to find time for the customers. 

© Igor Abyzov,
project manager 

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