Last week, I went down to a small town called Mantin, to meet an old friend of mine. It has been years we did not come out just 2 of us. So we spend sometimes there together, and my wife as well.
He doesn’t really understand what I’m working as. Web designer is not a very prominent title for small town like Sibu, not to mention Mantin. So I told him that I, design website that he click; work on project basis with client around the World. So that is just some small talk together, surely he started to understand, but not fully. Well, not a big deal, because after all, he wanted to know how I earn a living (how I charge). Here comes the interesting part.
So I told him that I work on a project for around 3 months usually (where 6 months is top, some are even longer), for a four-figure price range. He was shocked, not because my charges is high (seriously!), but because the time that I spend on with the project in comparison with the price range. He is somehow a contractor, so he told me that his work is pretty straightforward and less back-and-forth thing; go to the site to check and measure -> work on it -> deliver the work (physical product) – sometimes involves two round of delivery -> get paid, all done within a month or less than that at four-figure price range as well.
Now, it wakes me up. I remember people asking me questions like “Freelance can (survive) a?”, or “I know your financial bro” and etc. Hmmm… Guess it’s the difference between selling service for physical products and digital goods.
Just bought a new laptop, the old (not so old, just 2 and half years of usage) Acer failed us, with random shut down. Not even sure which part causing it, and have no time to give for inspection, so new laptop with better graphic it is
Anyway, browsing through the new laptop, I don’t know where the hell those product designers go. Seriously, why so conventional and yet, so similar? Are those laptop market fight for the same design as well?
Acer, one that know how to design something that is minimal and functional. Dell, started with a minimal design too, but overall look is really sucks to be honest. Lenovo and Asus almost has the same design, all buttons here and there, I don’t even want to mention the rest.
After Acer comes out with something minimal, I thought it was a chance that PC seeing some good designed laptop, but ended up, all those design now applied on netbook and not laptop. Smell like netbook is a good market nowadays?
The problem with laptop manufacturers are that, they don’t know how to market their own product, beside Sony. Most rely on their vendors, fast processor, good sound, latest operating system and etc. There is nothing about themselves, at least, a better camera? With this, consumers are trapped not with their products, but with their vendors instead.
Customer service: KTMD, how may I help you?
Me: I would like to track my package.
Customer service: Location?
Customer service: You’re the sender or receiver?
Customer service: Sure, we will get your package delivered today, but not sure what time. Thank you.
So, I don’t need to let him know the tracking number, I don’t need to let him know when the package was send. All information no need. All KTMD needs to know my location and whether I’m sender or not…
Now I’m wondering when…
I notice that when it comes to web design, in Malaysia, most companies are looking for a web developer instead of web designer. Check their requirements, all sort of requirements like programming language knowledge, Adobe Flash knowledge and etc. There is nothing mentioned about web designing beside knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustration.
I believe they have the same thinking as I have had when I was in college – Web design will comes after all functions are ready. Or in shorter term – Web design is about how you arrange your web functions.
Some most important aspects has been totally forgotten, like usability and user experience are both often overlooked. They rather have lots of pave beads than having a fashionable one. More concern on the web performance than web usability, that’s why a lot requests like “mouse over like that website”, “look like that website” and etc.
Check around Malaysia corporate/government websites, you’ll notice that they have a nice features on their website, eye-candy effect, live chat, feedback forms, archives and all the thing you can mention. But when you start using it, it doesn’t feel really correct. Heading is too small, colour looks alike, not sure which is clickable and etc.
I believe that is what lots of web designers are looking for to fix the problem, but they required programming language to do so…
June 2012, is a project for my wife and I. We wanted to clean up everything and adjust all our work tasks. At first, we thought it was impossible for us, so we sit down and have a plan for each day, then each week then the whole month. It is all about time management and planning.
Surprisingly, everything works well though. In fact, I have more time to spend than my wife, who do all the design part I’m working on all the coding and development though, so I clean up all the freemium themes and premium theme, update and etc.
Now I get the real impact of time management. Sadly, it is one thing that no everyone likes to stick to. Planning is one thing, time management is also an important aspect.