We take great comfort in the fact that our core competency is design, user experience and front end development. This is not to say that we could not also build large scale web applications – it’s just not advantageous for us to offer this part of the process as a service.
Most of the pain points in web development stem from the fact that interactive projects, of any scale, quickly become complex machines with many moving parts. Because of this, every person involved in the process of making, selling or marketing in this medium has to constantly balance education (client, co-worker, boss) with their day-to-day workload.
While recently discussing our best client stories, as well as the often therapeutic clientsfromhell.net, Eric let loose a little gem of advice:
Before you start a job with a new client, you should take them out to lunch in a restaurant with bad service. Just watch how they handle the situation.
I thought this was seemingly brilliant compatibility test. Best case is that you quickly observe the inherent communication patterns of the team, worst case is that you are no longer hungry.
I think that too often clients/teams get a bad rap for what they don’t know. The reality is that, by choosing to work with you they have often already disclosed that they know something, yet need to know more. When you are trying to create new things, your building blocks are small pieces of unknown and yet to be proven ideas. Some blocks snap right together, some blocks take down the last 4 hours of your day. The great clients are the ones who handle what they don’t know with honor, honesty and respect – regardless of how much they understand the technical thingys.
Good clients have taught me more then I would ever consider I have taught them.