Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dealing With Clients Who Refuse To Pay


As a designer, you will eventually have to face a couple of unfortunate truths in your career. Number one: just because you wear a bathrobe for most of your “business” hours does not actually make it business attire. Number two: at some point in your freelance career, you will encounter a client who does not respect the work you do. The most unfortunate part of this unfortunate truth is that it will all too often present itself in the form of a client who refuses to pay for your services once all of the work has been completed.
However, you can put some safeguards in place to guarantee that if this kind of client disrespects you and a dispute arises, that you are not left without any leverage to help you resolve the situation. Because whether they admit it, some loathsome characters deal with freelancers merely because they believe these smaller independent businesses would have little recourse should they not hold up their end of the bargain. They think that once we have taken the time to complete the work and deliver it, that they have all the power to control the outcome of the business transaction. But now more than ever, this is not the case.
One thing these clients overlook is the community that freelancers have at their disposal via the Web and various blogs and social media outlets. Freelancers have an established network of support and guidance through such connectivity that it almost feels effortless at times. And we have been turning to the community for years now to improve the working environment of designers, by discussing methods and techniques of dealing with common issues that arise in the field. This network has spawned some inspiring ideas for addressing these client-related problems.
In fact, we here at Smashing Media turned to our friends on Twitter for some ideas on dealing with this particular issue, and we want to thank everyone who replied with so many great suggestions.
Through the volume of answers we received, a staggering fact became quite clear: that too many people have been burned by this type of business interaction, which only reinforces the necessity of a post such as this. So, armed with stories of clients who were not willing to pay for completed work and who were determined to leave freelancers reeling and damaged, we have compiled some helpful safeguards and talking points to help you steer these situations towards a more positive outcome for you.

First Things First

The main thing to remember if you find yourself in this position is that you are in the right, and you do not have to stand for being bullied by a client simply because they are a client. You have the right to be compensated for the time and effort that you put into the project. Even with no physical contract, the client knowingly entered into a verbal agreement and is therefore completely liable for upholding the terms of the agreement. Sometimes — not always — you may find that the client has challenged the payment only to see if they can get away with it; and once you stand up to them and demonstrate that you will not be undercut, then they go ahead and pay.
But this will not always be the case, and your situation may be cumbersome. So, be sure to remain civil, consistent, confident and above all resilient to make it through this tiring ordeal. By doing this and employing one or more of the strategies suggested below, you might not only keep your business comfortably afloat but also retain a bit more of your sanity.

Use A Contract

One standard safeguard is a comprehensive project contract. This sets up a payment structure that usually prevents an unfavorable outcome, or at least prevents the client from withholding full payment for whatever reason. Use the language and structures that most contracts follow. Most contracts call for a deposit at the beginning, and partial payment at various stages of the project. But this is not always preferred by the client, or even occasionally by the freelancer.

Read more @: http://bit.ly/a2yTNW
Article courtesy of: Rob Bowen

@rob_e_bowen




Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mobile Website vs Mobile App: Which Is Best?


The mobile website versus mobile app debate is a consequence of current developments in the way websites and applications are built for mobile devices. Any individual, company, or organization interested in establishing a mobile presence is going to have to deal with it.

What’s the Difference Between the Two?

Mobile websites and mobile apps are both designed and optimized for Smartphones and tablets.


• Mobile websites are just like standard websites, with the difference that they are optimized for the small touch-screen of mobile devices. Sometimes, mobile websites also have features like mapping and click-to-call, which are specific to mobile devices.


• Mobile apps are applications you download on your mobile device from app portals such as Android Market or Apple App Store. Mobile apps can work online, offline, or both, and they are designed for a specific platform (iOS, Android) though popular apps are usually available across platforms.



Mobile Website First, Mobile App Second


Creating a mobile website is normally the first step individuals or companies take when developing a web presence, because setting up a mobile website is easy and cost-effective. Once the mobile website is in place, then a mobile app that serves a more specific function can be developed.


But it all depends on what you’re developing. Games, for example, are best developed as mobile apps from the start, whereas content-based projects are usually best developed as mobile websites. Ideally, you want both a mobile website and a mobile app, but you usually have to build the website first.


Mobile Websites versus Mobile Apps
When your goal is to reach many users quickly, a mobile website is preferable to a mobile app. On the other hand, when you want to provide a powerful tool or a complex game, a mobile app is better.


Compatibility

• Mobile websites work across platforms and devices, an iPhone (iOS) user as well as a Samsung (Android) user being able to access the same mobile website.

• Mobile applications work only with the platforms for which they have been developed, anAndroid user not being able to access an iOS mobile app unless the app is available in theAndroid Marketplace as well...


Article courtesy of: http://bit.ly/IfsRsE
Written by: Jason Phillips


5 Best Reasons to Be an Entrepreneur



Sure, when you start your own business you get to be your own boss, expand your earning potential, and maybe change the world. You know all that.

Here are some reasons you might not have thought about:

1. You meet fewer mummies.
When you work for a big company, you represent that company. When you talk to vendors, suppliers, customers, etc., you must be more of a suit and less of a person. (I'm not criticizing corporate employees; I was one. That's just how it works.)

The larger the company and the higher you climb, the more of a suit you must become.
In short, you become a corporate mummy and your wrappings hide your personality. And, because big companies tend to do business with other big companies, you tend to interact mostly with other mummies.

Mummies are boring.

People who start their own businesses can remove most of their wrappings. They have no one to answer to but themselves. For better or worse, they can be who they are.

And they can be a lot more fun to work with. Some will even become friends.

2. You don't need an oasis.
Here's what happens when you work for someone else. You have skills. Your employer tells you where, how, and when to apply those skills. You rarely get to do what you want to do in the way you would like to do it. You're a cog in a larger machine.

The more cog-like you are required to be, the less "you" is expressed in your work life... and often the more you might try to express yourself in your office or work area.

Hence the photos, trinkets, knickknacks... all the stuff designed to remind you that you are a lot more than just a cog.

Run your own business and you may still be a cog in a larger machine--because no one does anything worthwhile completely on their own--but you get to decide where, how, and when to apply your skills.

And you won't need to remind yourself that you are more than just a set of skills to be utilized at your employer's discretion....


Friday, March 23, 2012

Bid on projects without becoming a "bargain."

"How To Win Jobs On Freelance Job Bidding Sites"

Skimming through the comments on the recent FSW poll about freelance job bidding sites, there’s not a lot of love out there for the freelance bidding sites like Elance, Get-A-Freelancer, Guru, Rent-A-Coder and the like – and it’s no wonder when you see projects offering to pay you $1 per custom designed t-shirt image!

The general consensus seems to be that in the following circumstances they can be of some value…
  • If you’re a student looking to get some extra cash and experience
  • If you’re a freelancer living somewhere with a lower cost of living that allows you to take advantage of being paid lower rates for jobs
  • If you’re just getting started and your main focus is on building up your portfolio
  • If you want to hone your skills in a new area
  • If you’re looking for quick turn-around jobs


Read more of this article @:
http://freelanceswitch.com/finding/how-to-win-jobs-on-freelance-job-bidding-sites/


Article courtesy of Lea Woodward
http://freelanceswitch.com/

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Future of Tablets

Nasir Maman, a professor at Polytechnic Institute of NYU, demonstrates a system where a tablet recognizes the unique movement of a user's fingers.


See full demonstration @ http://nyti.ms/rNmsDn

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Social Media Bonanza


Kii Media Group Goes Social...

Founded by Keisha Brown, Jamie Vick and CD Malcolm, Kii Media Group (an innovative design firm with offices in New York and Florida) that is pleased to announce our...


Social Media Bonanza...


As a valued member of the Kii Family and the trusted friend of a founding member. We wanted to personally invite you to one of first to know about:

•  Upcoming Events and Conferences in your area

•  Legandary Promotions and Discounts

•  Behind-the-Scences look at what's new within our very own deisgn Lab

   much More...

Don't miss one single update - Follow Us @


Friday, June 3, 2011

Getting Started With Defensive Web Design

The following artile is brought to you courtesy of: Smashingmagazine.com via: Ian Lurie

Nothing ruins a great website UI like people using it. At least, it often feels that way. You put in days or weeks building the interface, only to find that a vast majority of visitors abandon it partway through the process that it supports. Most of the time, visitors leave because they’ve hit a roadblock: a problem that lets them go no further. They typed their credit card number wrong or clicked the wrong link or mistyped a URL. And it’s not their fault.

What exactly is meant by defensive design? Image by Richard Winchell

A good design assumes that people make mistakes. A bad one leaves visitors stuck at a dead end because they mistyped one character. The best professionals account for this with smart, defensive design strategies (also known as contingency design).

Defensive Design Means…

I’m a simple guy. In the book Defensive Design for the Web, 37Signals defines defensive design as such: “Design for when things go wrong.”

Gets right to the point, doesn’t it? Defensive design anticipates both user and website error. Then, it tries to prevent those errors and provide help to get the user back on track. Defensive design for the Web usually focuses on the most common points of failure: forms, search, the address bar and server problems.

Defensive design:

  • Employs validation to check for mistakes before they frustrate the user,
  • Expands available options based on the user’s implied intent,
  • Protects site visitors from server errors and broken links with informative messages and
  • Assists the user before mistakes happen.

Defensive Design: Business Sense

If you want to grow your online business or just improve your blog, defensive design is one of the easiest upgrades — instead of trying to build audience, defensive design helps you better serve the audience you’ve got. The latter is far, far easier than the former.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Things just got interesting...

Facebook: Privatising the internet, one Poke at a time.


The world has been pretty slow to wake up to the power of Facebook and Google, web services with the power to make internet standards disappear faster than a Poke. But maybe people will sit up now. Mark Zuckerberg's embrace and extend attitude doesn't just encompass your data - but email protocols too. And there's very little you're going to be able to do about it.

At a typically oversold launch event yesterday, Zuckerberg complained about the "friction" generated by having to compose a simple email. You had to type a subject line in, he said, incorrectly, making people wonder if he'd ever used email himself. It's too formal, he concluded. The poor love - I'm surprised he hasn't thought about suing the developers of POP3 for emotional distress, as well as repetitive strain injury.


The Facebook plan is to integrate email and SMS into Facebook, into one great big inbox, which will be stored forever. And which will naturally drown people who are not on Facebook under a tide of real-time chaff - Web2.0rhea, as we call it here.

Read more @ http://bit.ly/cHYwF8


Article courtesy of Andrew Orlowski.