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Make The Logo Bigger: Becoming The Client Your Developer Loves

E195ae45320d9202eaa01c9f1d31a416?s=47 Michelle Schulp
November 01, 2015

Make The Logo Bigger: Becoming The Client Your Developer Loves

No matter who you are, everyone seems to need a website, and that often means hiring a designer, developer, or agency to do some work for you. But how do you communicate about something that is outside your realm of experience, much less help direct the project to suit your business? That’s why you hired someone, after all! We’ll unmask the “magic” of web design and learn to ask constructive questions, give useful feedback, and develop a collaborative relationship that will benefit both of your businesses.


Michelle Schulp

November 01, 2015



  2. @marktimemedia I Design THINGS. USUALLY WORDPRESS. HI, I’M MICHELLE.

  3. @marktimemedia WHY WE’RE HERE @marktimemedia

  4. @marktimemedia WHY WORK WITH A PROFESSIONAL?

  5. @marktimemedia DON’T NEED HELP when you

  6. @marktimemedia SHOULD SEEK HELP when you

  7. @marktimemedia CUSTOMIZATION @marktimemedia

  8. @marktimemedia Flickr: Nick Sherman COMPLEXITY @marktimemedia

  9. @marktimemedia KNOWLEDGE @marktimemedia

  10. @marktimemedia MISSION CRITICAL @marktimemedia

  11. @marktimemedia become an EXPERT WORDPRESS USER

  12. @marktimemedia BEFORE YOUR PROJECT STARTS

  13. @marktimemedia PROJECT DUE DILLIGENCE @marktimemedia

  14. @marktimemedia WINS? what are your


  16. @marktimemedia BUSINESS DUE DILLIGENCE @marktimemedia

  17. @marktimemedia FINALIZE INVOLVED who needs to be

  18. @marktimemedia PREPARE YOUR COMPANY for outside help

  19. @marktimemedia CHOOSING A PROFESSIONAL

  20. @marktimemedia FREELANCER? CONTRACTOR? TEAM? AGENCY? @marktimemedia

  21. @marktimemedia FREELANCER/INDEPENDENT •  Could be a specialist or a generalist

    •  Works on their own time/equipment •  Self-managed •  Managing multiple clients •  Communicates directly with you, on their schedule •  Rates vary based on experience
  22. @marktimemedia CONTRACTOR •  Often specialized •  Works onsite for pre-determined

    time alongside you or your team •  Requires proper equipment while onsite •  Needs to be managed •  100% dedicated to you while on-site •  Rates vary based on experience
  23. @marktimemedia TEAM/AGENCY •  Group of independents or full-service agency • 

    Combination of experiences and skillsets •  More resources & flexibility •  Can often manage multiple parts of a project •  Communicating with account or project managers whose job it is to interface with clients •  More expensive
  24. @marktimemedia Flickr: See-ming Lee 李思明 SML DEMYSTIFYING JOB TITLES @marktimemedia

  25. @marktimemedia WORDPRESS DESIGNER •  Usually: Aesthetics, interface, experience •  Sometimes:

    Theme development, frontend markup/ styling languages and/or Javascript, other design field experience •  Related: UI/UX Designer, Theme Designer Choose this person if: Your project requires a very strong visual language
  26. @marktimemedia WORDPRESS DEVELOPER •  Usually: Interactive/programming logic •  Sometimes: Design/Styling

    experience, appliction/ integration experience, other programming languages •  Related: Frontend Developer, Backend Developer, Theme Developer, Plugin developer Choose this person if: Your project has complex functionality or integration requirements
  27. @marktimemedia WORDPRESS IMPLEMENTOR •  Usually: Combines existing solutions to solve

    problems •  Sometimes: development experience, design experience, content writing experience •  Related: Integrator, Consultant Choose this person if: You want to build your project out of recommended existing solutions but aren’t sure where to look
  28. @marktimemedia SEO CONSULTANT •  Usually: Recommending, optimizing, implementing and tracking

    SEO efforts •  Sometimes: development experience, design experience, content writing experience, social media strategy, external campaigns •  Related: SEO Strategist, Search Engine Marketer Choose this person if: You have an existing site or are in the process of redeveloping a site
  29. @marktimemedia WORDPRESS EXPERT Usually: means objectively nothing!

  30. @marktimemedia DON’T FORGET THE REST! CONTENT: Writers, Photographers, Animators, Videographers

    OUTREACH: Email campaigns, social campaigns, Newsletters, Marketing ONGOING: Security, maintenance
  31. @marktimemedia WHO TO HIRE? @marktimemedia



  34. @marktimemedia MULTIPLE INDEPENDENTS a note on

  35. @marktimemedia LET’S TALK ABOUT MONEY

  36. @marktimemedia WE NEED TO KNOW YOUR BUDGET @marktimemedia

  37. @marktimemedia PAYMENT TERMS •  Hourly: exploratory work, billed after a

    set amount of time •  Flat Fee: charged in increments including up-front deposit, final payment before product is delivered •  Retainer: pay in advance on a schedule for ongoing work
  38. @marktimemedia EVALUATING BIDS @marktimemedia

  39. @marktimemedia TYPE OF SITE COST does not determine

  40. @marktimemedia INFLUENCING PRICE •  Four Factors (Customization, Complexity, Knowledge, Mission

    Critical) •  Size/Scale/Scope •  Timing & Availability •  Cost of Doing Business •  Value of Final Product •  Difficulty/Ease of Working With YOU
  41. @marktimemedia ASK QUESTIONS (also read chrislema.com) @marktimemedia

  42. @marktimemedia BID COSTS FINAL are not always @marktimemedia

  43. @marktimemedia A QUOTE IS LIKE A HOME INSPECTION @marktimemedia

  44. @marktimemedia PROJECT STAGES

  45. @marktimemedia Flickr: xutheinsun DISCOVERY & STRATEGY @marktimemedia

  46. @marktimemedia DISCOVERY & STRATEGY Explore project scope: functionality, visuals, audience,

    business & technical goals, available resources Make decisions: methodology, technology, themes/ plugins, design & development strategies, content architecture @marktimemedia
  47. @marktimemedia TERMINOLOGY •  Content Map: more complex than a site

    map, often includes content types and other relationships •  Scope: the size/complexity/timing of your project •  Site Map: a hierarchical documentation of the pages and elements of your site •  User Personas: taking a "target demographic" and turning it into a specific representational person with personality, goals, and needs •  User Testing: test subjects monitored on the use of your existing site to achieve specific tasks, to see what elements are successful and/or confusing
  48. @marktimemedia DESIGN @marktimemedia

  49. @marktimemedia DESIGN Visually strategic problem solving Aesthetics: exploring color, fonts,

    imagery Experience: workflows, site elements, interface @marktimemedia
  50. @marktimemedia TERMINOLOGY •  Information Architecture: how elements relate to other

    elements on a page and across the site, including interactivity, hierarchy, importance, and visual weight •  Mockups: static aesthetic representations of a site •  Prototype: interactive representations of a site (not production code) •  UI/UX: User Interface (the elements on screen with which your users interact), User Experience (the intuitiveness, consistency, and emotions when interacting with your site) •  Wireframes: visual structure of a site without aesthetic elements
  51. @marktimemedia DEVELOPMENT

  52. @marktimemedia DEVELOPMENT Problem solving for functionality, interactivity, and integration Frontend

    development: implementing visual and structural elements as well as client-side interactivity. Writing functions to output WordPress content. Backend development: solving higher-level logic problems, creating relationships between data that don't already exist, or creating relationships between WordPress and outside or third party components. @marktimemedia
  53. @marktimemedia TERMINOLOGY •  Content Management System: database plus files • 

    HTML, CSS: markup and styling languages (visuals and structure) like walls and paint of a house •  JS, PHP: interactivity and functionality languages (client side/ browser, server side/cloud) •  Theme: the code that determines the visual structure and layout of your site •  Template: a specific page layout within a theme •  Plugin: a set of code that introduces specific functionality
  54. @marktimemedia TERMINOLOGY •  Local Development Site: copies of the site

    running on a person’s computer, usually for performing ongoing development •  Staging/Sandbox Site: a copy of the site running on a web server, often similar to the live site, but is not the live site. Usually for testing and previewing development work. •  Live Site: Where your domain points, where the final product will live, “your website”
  55. @marktimemedia TERMINOLOGY •  API: allows one set of software to

    standardize communication and seamlessly interact with another set of software, makes its features or functionality available for use •  Agile: an iterative task and review based form of project management and development •  Git/Github/Version Control: a programmatic way for tracking changes, contributions to code, syncing between environments •  Responsive/Mobile First: sites that change to fit different environments using the same codebase. Includes scaling, swapping, reorganizing, and changing content and structure to fit different contexts, including size, weight, device
  56. @marktimemedia DEPLOYMENT @marktimemedia

  57. @marktimemedia DEPLOYMENT Putting the finished product onto your live site

    Could be all at once, or in stages/phases •  Domain: your address (www.yoursite.com) which will be pointed to your host •  Hosting: your home (different levels of speed/reliability/service/ features for the cost) which will have a database and file storage @marktimemedia
  58. @marktimemedia POST-DEPLOYMENT Monitoring, Testing, and maintenance Learn what is working

    and what needs to be improved •  Analytics: data about who is using your site, when they are using it, and how they are interacting with it @marktimemedia
  59. @marktimemedia GIVING QUALITY FEEDBACK

  60. @marktimemedia DESIGN FEEDBACK Start with evaluating look and feel Evaluating

    design as a series of increasingly specific systems/rules Evaluate clarity and communication Remember it’s for your audience, not for you Be specific! Ask questions! Good designers can always answer “why?”
  61. @marktimemedia DEVELOPMENT FEEDBACK Focus on “how it works.” Evaluate cross-platform

    usability and consistency of experience rather than pixel perfection Explain what you expect to happen in addition to what is actually happening Be specific! Ask questions! Good developers can always answer “why?”
  62. @marktimemedia RESOURCES http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/06/following-a-web- design-process/ http://thewc.co/articles/view/web-development-process-start-to- finish Mike Monteiro: You’re My

    Favorite Client
  63. @marktimemedia QUESTIONS? Michelle Schulp michelle@marktimemedia.com @marktimemedia bit.ly/be-a-good-client