The Design Service Price List is Absurd.

The Design Service Price List is Absurd.

The Design Service Price List is being shared across the internet and I think it’s absurd. It uses the Fibonacci Sequence to scale the price of a design based on who does what. For some designers it’s an inside joke about clients who want to help design. Let me make this clear, clients should always help you design. It is the designer’s responsibility to set the expectations of what helping means.

The idea that the cheapest design from a designer is one where the client can’t watch, advise or help without paying more is absurd.

The idea that you can have a “price list” for design suggests that design is a commodity. That each client’s desired outcome is the same, fixed, and easily achieved. This is rarely the case.

Sure, anyone can go online and find fixed bid design services. Get your website for “x” dollars. A website is not an outcome. Clients who want a website probably want that website to help with an outcome. The visual design, how it looks, how it works, should all support getting to that outcome. Understanding that outcome requires close collaboration with your client. Clients shouldn’t be charged more or penalized for wanting to be part of that process.

As designers we should be engineering and carrying out experiments that move our clients towards achieving a desired outcome. A measurable outcome.

This requires multiple iterations. Each iteration, will yield valuable information that will inform the next experiment. This information is shared with our client. The client’s feedback will help with this process. Good design doesn’t happen in a silo or an ivory tower. Good design happens when you set proper expectations, work as a team, and work iteratively towards a goal.

Here are some excellent resources for coaching your clients on how to be a constructive part of the design process.

Mike Monterio’s book You’re My Favorite Client.

In particular, Chapter 4: Evaluating Work and Giving Feedback

Discussing Design Improving Communication and Collaboration through Critique by Adam Connor and Aaron Irzarry

In particular, Chapter 6: Critiquing with Difficult People and Challenging Situations