A few months ago, during a company all-hands meeting at Fellowship Tech, our CEO Jeff Hook posed a question to the group: What does innovation mean to you? – and encouraged people to share. After briefly giving it some thought, I stood up and said something to the effect of:
Last week, while chomping down burritos at a nearby restaurant, myself and several members of Team Viewzi™ were discussing the concept of super heroes, and what type of work environment would be conducive to various personalities. I must credit my coworker Stephen Anderson for starting us down this line of thinking, with some of the tidbits from a book he’s been working on.
As a freelancer, you will inevitably receive the occasional vague, obscure, or otherwise secretive request for proposal also known in “the biz” as an RFP. In an ideal RFP, the prospective client divulges enough information about a potential project in order for you to respond with an appropriate price estimate. At the very least, this is project scope, budget and timeline.
I was recently asked a few questions about clients and how to get them to provide content. Matthew Smith, who is one of the moderators over at the Textpattern forum, is putting together a series entitled Clients and Designers, and asked me and a few others to contribute our thoughts. Here are mine.
Driving home from my family’s house after Easter got me to thinking about how much control we relinquish to machines and pointless man-made processes. There I was, zipping along the highway with cruise control on, to make sure I wouldn’t get a ticket. At one point in my journey, I remember thinking to myself, “How did I get here?” I realized at that moment, even though I was still heading home the correct way, I couldn’t really remember the interval of time since switching on “auto-pilot.”
Tonight, my wife and I were watching television, and as usual were chuckling at the local advertisements. Most of them were typical, for car dealerships, no-credit loans, etc. However, when I saw a commercial with a sharp looking businessman speaking in web jargon, it actually grabbed my attention…
I was doing some reading for a seminary class, and came across an amusing story about the British army. They were looking to improve upon their cannon firing efficiency in battle, and were in a transitional period from the old paradigms of war to more streamlined methods. So, they hired a consultant of sorts, to get them up to speed. Here is a quote describing the funny situation, taken from page 124 of the book Social Change, by Robert Nisbet…
When to Fold ‘em?
Currently, this is a decision that I am wrestling with. Typically, I am pretty selective about the projects I accept, so that when I am working on freelance stuff, I can do so with maximum efficiency. Last year though, against my better judgment, I let my little brother convince me to do some pro-bono charity work. Without going into too much detail, the client paid money to a non-profit organization, for the website design package that I had “donated.”
It Ain’t Easy
Communication is a difficult task. This is something that pops up periodically, and is a topic that is constantly on my mind when I am writing about myself, particularly in résumés. We as designers are committed to having clean, semantic structural markup, but are we as concerned about writing intelligibly? We communicate visually, but often neglect grammatical focus.
I dare say this is an area that is commonly overlooked among website crafters. Far too often, I see designers or programmers, award-winning even, writing up tutorials which barely make sense.
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are mine alone, and are not necessarily shared by any other living person.