SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: SIGIA-L: Concrete Questions
Re: SIGIA-L: Concrete Questions
From: Mike Kuniavsky (mikek_at_tired.com)
Date: Wed Apr 19 2000 - 14:53:53 EDT
Hi. As points of introduction:
- I wasn't at the ASIS conference
- I think that job titles and definitions are still fluid and confusion
about who does what will continue for quite a while
- I've been doing Web user/customer experience research and design
commercially since Ye Olden Dayse (i.e. '94 ;-)
On Wed, 19 Apr 2000, Chiara Fox wrote:
> For example: What software do you use on your projects?
Many people use Visio (recently acquired by Microsoft) for communicating
structure to clients, but most of the work (at least in my experience)
happens on white boards and in word processors.
> Is knowing how to code and script important or applicable?
No, but knowing the underlying technology is important in order to know
the limitations and possibilities of the medium. If you're working with
the Web, knowing modern HTML is pretty much required, even if you're not
as fluent as the production people. Knowing the capabilities of XML is
helpful if you're going to be working with different data sources and
muliple interfaces, while knowing the various dynamic interaction
technologies (DHTML, Flash) can help you design architectures that
interaction designers can create innovative interfaces for.
> How do you find clients? Do they come to you or do you have to go
> out and find them?
Our clients come to us. But then, like I said in the intro, we're in a
different niche than just IA. We do end-user research and specialize in
ecommerce and portal startups, which is a hot market right now (well, it
was until last week ;-). Our research often directly feeds into the
creation of an information architecture, but we aren't always the ones who
are creating it.
> How long do you spend on a project? Do you spend time "tweaking"
> sites 6 months, a year after you worked on them?
We have research plans that last for 3 to 6 months and consist of a number
of shorter projects. The average research project that leads an
information architecture proposal goes for 2 weeks to a month. Sometimes
we end up tweaking things for a long time--I worked with a search engine
for something like 3 years, doing research every couple of months--and
sometimes we never see the product again. I've done several "no sleep"
projects in 3-4 days, but that involves a lot of caffeine and take out. (I
don't recommend that particular work practice, however ;-)
> How do you know what to charge clients? What's the going rate to
> design a site?
The going rate in San Francisco (where we're based) is $100-$250 per hour
per primary consultant for research and architecture, depending on the
complexity of the project. Often it's priced on a per-project basis,
based on an estimated minimum number of hours. Designing a site is a lot
more involved than just that, though, and once identity, strategy,
engineering and production are taken into account, prices for top-end
organizations like Scient, Vivid and Organic can be in the many hundreds
of thousands of dollars.
One question for the group: how many people here are working independently
in the Web space? If you are, do you find that creating an architecture
requires reorganizing your client's development process? How do you go
about doing that?
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:54:19 EST