A Word on Design Value

Note

The other day we got a telephone call from a business man that planned to “exponentially increase” his Internet performance. His budget? $1000.–

He had an existing, custom built CMS and he wanted a complete re-design and re-build. We met, and he explained that he would like us to “design everything, ready to program”. He would then send our “detailed plans” to India and let a cheap team program the whole site.

Our first suggestion to go with a 50 Dollar template didn’t really satisfy him. His naivety was refreshing and insolent at once: He figured that he could hire a designer for a thousand Dollars to fully sketch out a CMS and eCommerce solution, and then hire a programming team in India to produce it for another $3,000. He figured that all he needed to do is invest 4,000 to make 10 Million.

Reality Check

If it were that easy to make money on the web, everyone would do it. There is no such thing as a quick buck made out of a small buck. There is only a small buck being lost really quickly.

For $1,000 you are lucky if you get 1 day of work from a professional in our field. If you find one that can map out a full eCommerce solution in 10 hours, including wireframes and skinning, who will also agree to all the meetings, communication and administration, then you have found yourself a solid conman or a desperate junkie that will promise you anything for his next heroine shot.

If you want something cheap and fast, chances are it wont do what you want. Whatever you get for $4000, it’s not going to make you rich.

Quality Costs

This really isn’t about poking fun at an individual - the point we’d like to make is that this kind of proposal is all too common in our field, and that we realize that people willing to pay for good design, or at least, those who recognize the value of it, are few and far between.

What do you think differentiates an iPod from an $8.50 DN-2000, a BMW from a Trabant, a Swan Chair from a Lund Bjov Sofa? The production quality? What is the blue print of production? Good products are well designed and well produced. Quality costs good money. Online and offline.

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