Running an agency

Why designers are holding themselves back

Have you every been in the situation where the client keeps requesting tweaks to the design or changes in functionality? As you sit moving boxes around the page, the budget is slowly draining away and you're no longer sure whether the project can be completed on target? In these situations what do you do?

Selling Design

As the managing director of a design agency, it's my job to bring in the business. That means talking to prospective clients, writing proposals and running pitches...

How much does a start-up really cost?

In 1884 Thomas Marks opened his first market stall in Leeds. Over the next few years he opened 20 other stalls around the UK. In 1894, Thomas Spencer invested in the business and retail chain Marks & Spencer was born. From it's humble beginnings M&S�as it was colloquially called�became one of the UK's biggest success stories and was the first retailer to make a pre-tax profit of over �1 billion. Companies like WH Smith, Woolworth's and AMSTRAD all started the same way, so it would seem that in order to make it big, you should start small. Can the same thing be said of the Web?

My response to the question of speculative pitches

A few nights ago I attended a UX-Bri session where one of the speakers floated the idea of doing free usability testing in order to win projects. I asked about the moral implications of this and was surprised by the response. While the audience largely disagreed with the idea of speculative design work, it seemed that speculative UX work was somehow more acceptable.

The public sector web design dating game

Somebody contacts you out of the blue, possibly through a friend or from an advert you posted on a dating site, interested in meeting up for a drink and possibly more. They like what they've seen so far, but before telling you about themselves, they want a little more information. It's noting big and perfectly normal. They just want a copy of your passport, your last quarter bank statement and the phone numbers of your past couple of dates. Oh, and could you sign this contract agreeing with my standard date conditions assuming I chose to go out with you.

7 Habits of a Highly Successful Freelance Web Designer

I've had a few people contact me recently, asking how to make it as a freelance web designer. Rather than answer everybody individually, I thought I'd post my thoughts online. So in my best impression of a self help book, here are my 7 habits of a highly successful freelance web designer.