The war with the designer: where does good design come from. Part 2

    I bring to your attention the continuation of the first part of a series of notes-considerations that have accumulated during my work in the field of design. In short, these are reflections on what the customer needs to do in order to get a high-quality result from the designer and solve their problems.

    These are not educational or scientific materials. In the comments to the first part, someone expressed disagreement with me; excellent - there should be many points of view. But I received a lot of letters of support.

    4. Jack of all trades

    A 9-year-old guy writes on VKontakte: “I need a logo for a stratap
    , I won’t take it from you, I’ve got an ad illustrator here, tell me
    which menu to go so that the logo is beautiful!”

    When ordering the development of a design or an Internet project, the customer makes a choice between two options: contact a design studio where all the necessary specialists are assembled, or find a lone freelancer.
    The advantages of the first option are clear: it’s calmer to give money to the company than to an incomprehensible person; in addition, under good guidance, diverse specialists will in fact give the best result.
    Nevertheless, the option with a freelancer is good in its own way: the customer communicates directly with the contractor, avoiding bureaucracy and the “damaged telephone”. In addition, studios often pass the project to the same single freelancers anyway, so contacting the studio is more costly.

    The right choice here depends on many conditions, but it is important to understand one circumstance. This circumstance complicates the work with freelancers, but it must be taken into account if you want to get a high-quality project.
    We are talking about the fact that there are no "jack of all trades". Each person has his own abilities and preferences, and the circle of such abilities is usually quite narrow. Rare exceptions here confirm the rule. For example, if you need to create a website, it would be unreasonable to expect the same talent from the artist in both design and programming.

    The solution is clear: find a separate specialist designer and the second - a programmer. But at this moment a new task lays down on you: you need not only to compose separate tasks and explain to each specialist his narrow task, but also to establish a connection between them.
    You can solve the problem more efficiently if you find a special person who will be responsible for the entire project, directly contacting all the necessary specialists. When it comes to design, this familiar concept of the “manager” changes: the manager (art director) must have deep knowledge in all areas of the project, and sometimes take a direct part in it.

    Consideration: do not look for all-rounders, but individual specialists. Or a person who selects and organizes these people better than you.

    5. Where do they get prices and terms

    Well, I’m ready to pay you even 1000
    rubles a day. Only it will be necessary to
    have time to do everything in a day.

    Designers are different. Someone has an entrepreneurial spirit - such a designer will always evaluate your project, asking himself: is it profitable for me to work with this person? Is this task too laborious? Perhaps it is preferable to devote this time to some other projects? Will a connection with this person in the future be useful to me? Finally, will such a project come in handy for me in my portfolio? ..
    If he is interested in your project, then working with such a person is convenient. And if you are not interested, then you will most likely not work at all. He will tell you the price based on the capabilities of your wallet, and the deadline is the minimum possible: the faster your project ends, the sooner you can move on to the next.

    There are other types of people. These are “creative personalities”: they can please you with an inexplicably low price, explaining this by the fact that your project seems insanely attractive and interesting to them. Or they can call it a sky-high price - the services of a genius should be paid accordingly. I write this without the desire to offend someone - such a person can indeed be very talented. You just need to be prepared for an inexplicable, it would seem, pricing policy. Paying attention to the term of the project, which the designer will call, in this case is generally meaningless. The real term may be two times less than declared, or maybe ten times more, who knows.

    Finally, there is a third class of designers. These are such “artisans” who set a clear price for themselves and always call about the same prices and terms for a certain type of work. They are somewhat similar to “entrepreneurs,” but they are less likely to follow their own benefits. On the one hand, it’s convenient for the customer - you don’t have to worry that the artisan designer will not try to breed you by declaring an inappropriate price. But on the other hand, such people get a little grasp of the task before starting work, and if your project turns out to be more complicated and longer than it seemed at first, the designer will have problems. Either the work will be done in a blooper, or you will be asked to pay extra.

    I made approximate statistics on how many “entrepreneurs” there are, how many “creative personalities” and how many “artisans”. Of course, this division is conditional: in fact, in each person there are some features of each of these types.

    Consideration: when agreeing on work, price and deadlines, try to understand what type of contractor your type is. This will allow you to quickly understand it, and you will more easily find a common language.

    6. How to choose a designer in 5 steps

    - Excuse me, do you have a wife?
    - Yes, but how does this relate to work?
    - Sorry, we will not work together, I need a
    designer who will listen only to me,
    without outside influence.

    I am convinced that step-by-step instructions reliably bring success only when assembling furniture. Nevertheless, I will try to describe the “ideal” process of choosing the designer that suits you. It is assumed that one way or another you have identified a limited circle of people from which you will choose. For example, they collected recommendations from friends or studied the top 20 on freelance.

    1. Define your purpose. Do you need to draw at least some kind of stub for the site as quickly as possible? Or vice versa, do you need a crazy and unique project - albeit expensive and long?

    2. The characteristic type that suits you depends on your chosen goal.
    If the goal is unique and unusual - look for a combination of “creative personality” and “entrepreneur”. Creativity in such projects is necessary, and project exclusivity (and budget exclusivity) will catch an entrepreneurial spirit.

    To quickly solve a standard and fairly simple task, you need a "craftsman". The result will be average, like everything that comes off the assembly line. But you can reliably and clearly predict what quality the work will be and when.

    In my opinion, the fundamental problem is that in most cases the customer wants to get quality work, unique and fast enough; the “entrepreneur" is more suitable for this - he is much more flexible than other types and is more likely to be able to find the compromise you need. But bad luck - there are a minority of such people!

    3. Examine the candidate’s portfolio. If you need a website for the sale of toilet ducklings, you do not need to look for a designer with toilet ducklings in your portfolio. Try to find out what this person can do - make the design “selling”, or give the site an expensive and solid look, or conveniently organize a large amount of information.

    4. Chat. I deliberately do not write as a separate paragraph “study the reviews” - this is obvious, but not always reliable. A good performer asks specific, but important questions, does not talk about trifles and is able to briefly explain how he sees the solution to your problem. At the same time, try to understand which type he belongs to.

    5. PROFIT

    PS If there are specially trained sociologists to comment on section No. 5, I will be glad to hear the truth :)
    PPS The plan for the following notes is as follows:

    Part I. The war with the designer
    1. How to explain to the designer that profit is more important than beauty
    2. Design for the future consumer
    3. How to explain to the designer their desires

    4. Jack of all trades
    5. Where do the designers get prices and terms
    6. How to choose a designer in 5 steps

    Part II. Dialogue with the designer
    7. Graphic rhyme
    8. Graphic quality
    9. Standard and non-standard grid
    10. The importance of interactive
    11. Human language
    12. The basics of typography
    13. The principle of generalized contrast

    Part III. Self-medication
    14. Where did the devil come from in detail
    15. “Too empty”
    16. “Enlarge the logo”
    17. Nano erotic cat
    18. How not to view the elephant
    19. Prostitute pages

    Part IV. Svezhachok
    20. What are the good patterns
    21. Infographics
    22. Everything about the icons
    23. How the design became flat

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