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Topic: Project Management

  • Why Did You Hire Me?

    by Keith LaFerriere · Issue 259 ·

    Landing a new job or client is difficult in this economic climate. Undelivered contractual promises and work environment shortcomings can transform that challenge into a long-term nightmare. Keith LaFerriere shows how to get paid what you're worth; how to fight for control of your projects using management tools corporate cultures respect (even if they don't understand your work); and how to tell when it's time to jump ship.

  • The Cure for Content-Delay Syndrome

    by Pepi Ronalds · Issue 259 ·

    Clients love to write copy. Well, they love to plan to write it, anyhow. On most web design projects, content is the last thing to be considered (and almost always the last thing to be delivered). We’ll spend hours, weeks, even months, doing user scenarios, site maps, wireframes, designs, schemas, and specifications—but content? It’s a disrespected line item in a schedule: “final content delivered.” Pepi Ronalds proposes a solution to this constant cause of project delays.

  • Creating More Using Less Effort with Ruby on Rails

    by Michael Slater · Issue 257 ·

    The "why" of Ruby on Rails comes down to productivity, says Michael Slater. Web applications that share three characteristics, they're database-driven, they're new, and they have needs not well met by a typical CMS, can be built much more quickly with Ruby on Rails than with PHP, .NET, or Java, once the investment required to learn Rails has been made. Does your web app fall within the RoR "sweet spot?"

  • Hat Heads vs. Bed Heads

    by Keith LaFerriere · Issue 246 ·

    Every team and office includes people with potentially conflicting personalities and working styles. By applying the right relationship management techniques, you can calm tension, communicate more easily, and run your projects more efficiently. Keith LaFerriere shows us how.

  • Get Out from Behind the Curtain

    by Sarah B. Nelson · Issue 245 ·

    Client input: positive process or creative noose? Many designers would probably say the latter. But it needn't be that way. Adaptive Path's Sarah Nelson shows how to create collaborative work sessions that take the clients' needs in hand while leaving creative control in yours.

  • Frameworks for Designers

    by Jeff Croft · Issue 239 ·

    Frameworks like Rails, Django, jQuery, and the Yahoo User Interface library have improved web developers' lives by handling routine tasks. The same idea can work for designers. Learn how to harness the power of tools, libraries, conventions, and best practices to focus creative thought and energy on what is unique about each project.

  • You Are Not a Robot

    by Jonathan Kahn · Issue 239 ·

    Are we not (wo)men? Cut us and we bleed. Present us with a problem and we solve it—using judgement, experience, and the ability to generalize. Learn why machines will never be able to do our jobs, and how knowing that fact can build respect for the profession.

  • Avoid Edge Cases by Designing Up Front

    by Ben Henick · Issue 228 ·

    By the time they reach the coding stage, many web projects are a tangle of exceptions -- and that can make standards-based development a nightmare. Better planning may be exactly what you need to avoid markup derangement or, even worse, a dysfunctional product.

  • In Defense of Difficult Clients

    by Rob Swan · Issue 227 ·

    Challenging clients: avoidable pain or necessary stepping stone to enlightenment? Rob Swan considers the benefits of un-perfect clients.

  • Educate Your Stakeholders!

    by Shane Diffily · Issue 237 ·

    Who decides what's best for a website? Highly skilled professionals who work with the site's users and serve as their advocates? Or schmucks with money? Most often, it's the latter. That's why a web designer's first job is to educate the people who hold the purse strings.

  • Stand and Deliver

    by David Sleight · Issue 237 ·

    You've got thirty seconds to sell your work to the well dressed nemesis who's paying you. Handle the next few moments gracefully, and the project will be one you can be proud of. Flub an answer, and you can kiss excellence goodbye. Are you prepared? Can you deliver?

  • Never Get Involved in a Land War in Asia (or Build a Website for No Reason)

    by Greg Storey · Issue 205 ·

    If you don't know what the website you're working on is supposed to _do_, it's going to be really hard to succeed. Greg Storey offers a simple web strategy development process for everyone.

  • The Four-Day Week Challenge

    by Ryan Carson · Issue 216 ·

    Constantly stressed out? Not enough hours in the day to get things done? Ryan Carson has a theory: your problem is too much work time, not too little.

  • Designing Through the Storm

    by Walter Stevenson · Issue 220 ·

    As designers, we all face the inevitable slump. That point where our creativity stagnates and we find ourselves at a dead end. Walter Stevenson offers suggestions on staying productive and creative.

  • Time Management: The Pickle Jar Theory

    by Jeremy Wright · Issue 146 ·

    Time management theories come and go, and we’re glad when most of them leave. But this one caught our fancy. No charts, no grids, no five-syllable words, just a simple idea that can help you get more done with less stress. New ALA contributing writer Jeremy Wright uncorks the Pickle Jar Theory of Time Management.

  • Cheaper Over Better: Why Web Clients Settle for Less

    by Adam Schumacher · Issue 114 ·

    Schumacher investigates why clients hire bad web designers — and what good web designers can do about it.

  • Use Cases Part II: Taming Scope

    by Norm Carr, Tim Meehan · Issue 196 ·

    The use-case model can be a powerful tool for controlling scope throughout a project’s life cycle. Because a simplified use-case model can be understood by all project participants, it can also serve as a framework for ongoing collaboration and a visual map of all agreed-upon functionality. Use it to plan, to negotiate, and to prevent scope creep.

  • A Standards-Compliant Publishing Tool for the Rest of Us?

    by Jeffrey Zeldman · Issue 157 ·

    Publishing with web standards is not for experts alone. A new tool hopes to make it easier for anyone. ALA interviews Six Apart’s Anil Dash about his company’s easy-to-use, standards-compliant publishing tool, TypePad.

  • In Defense of Scope Creep

    by Hal Helms · Issue 150 ·

    Scope creep seems inevitable. Our attempts to gather our clients’ requirements early on often seems a futile effort. Scope creep distorts our carefully structured schedules, making project managers weep. Have we run out of strategies for fighting this evil scourge? Is it hopeless? Maybe not. Maybe, thinks Hal Helms, it can even be beneficial.

  • CMS and the Single Web Designer

    by James Ellis · Issue 133 ·

    Content Management Systems free designers from the gruntwork of individual web page production. They may also free companies from the need to retain design staff. How do content management systems work, and what impact will they have on a web designer’s job?

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