Gold-plated Paper

Dealing in software design I often work with budgets worth many more times than my car (and sometimes as large as my 25-year mortgage).

And because I often work in the early stages of web projects what I’m delivering to clients is usually nothing more than concepts on paper.

$100,000 worth of design (Picture by Eesha Fugaz)
$100,000 worth of design (Picture by Eesha Fugaz)

When the end-product is merely conceptual it’s easy to take for-granted the monetary worth of what my team and I are producing… This is because we are so focussed on creating a fantastic user experience, but I do sometimes have to remind myself and my workmates that we are in the process of creating something costing more than a brand-new Mini Cooper!

Of course what’s on the paper is the result of hours of research, filtering of ideas and reality checks with users… but at the end of the day, it’s a 25, 50 or 100 page document we’re handing over.

A recent document I worked on equated to around $1000 per side – or $2000 per double-sided page. As I handed over the wire-bound pile of sheets I considered that the equivalent investment would have paid off almost 50% of my mortgage – or saved me 12 years of being a slave to my bank.

Doing these sorts of comparisons does my head in…

The good news is that I see evidence that my clients are getting value for money… a well thought out website, involving prototyping and user research, means less patching and tweaking further down the track – and best of all – their customers are more satisfied and keep coming back.

Website projects which include a decent chunk of budget for analysis and design buy themselves longevity – lasting three years or more with hardly any changes to the core architecture and design – not bad in the fast-paced world of the web information technology.

If only my house would last that long without the need for numerous patch-ups!

One response to “Gold-plated Paper”

  1. Adam Avatar

    Ah, you must be charging too much then 🙂 Or you haven’t bought a big enough house.