“Can You Throw This up on the Website?”

In my profession, occasionally I’ll get an email from a client requesting if I can ‘throw something up on the[ir] website.’ I’ve had good laughs with co-workers and colleagues in the past about this, because this question is ultimately very loaded and is anything but the simplicity the question implies. This question implies that I could do this task as easily as throwing a basketball through a hoop. (Which doesn’t take very long, by the way.)

Now to be fair, there is nothing wrong with this question. I’m sure in other industries (that I know nothing about) I’ve ask similarly naive questions. (Haha… I can’t think of any right now!) The questioner simply doesn’t know what it takes and more importantly doesn’t know what questions to really ask. This is a huge part of my job. To ask questions. It’s amazing actually, as I type this, how many questions I do ask on a daily basis. I have a bit of a complex about asking too many questions. Alas, that’s the way I work. I need information. I need to know how something functions, how it looks, where it goes, how it integrates, how do you, the client, need to administer it, if at all?

So the take away?
As with most challenges in life, you have to think through it. So what if it’s a loaded question? Be nice. I’d have to dig down and figure this out even if a client wrote me a book on what s/he wanted. This is nothing more than an opportunity to hone my communication skills and hopefully help someone understand what it takes to throw something up on their website.

(Of course, if you’re up against a deadline, a one line request like this could prove very frustrating. In which case you’d have to fall back onto your contract and renegotiate or provide a separate quote for the extra work.)

Feel free to tell me your stories in the comments.

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Most recent work

  • Our Restroom Our Restroom is an (inter)national crowdsourced campaign who’s goal is simple: compel businesses to make their single occupancy restrooms gender neutral. Championed by Kristin Russo, designed by Allison Weiss, built by me on WordPress.
  • How To Win At Feminism The badasses over at Reductress are at it again with their new book How To Win At Feminism.
  • Reductress I crank out on-going web projects for Reductress. Super fun as you can imagine.
  • Everyone Is Gay Everyone Is Gay is an indispensable question and answer resource for the LGBTQ community. Hell, it’s great advice for anyone with a body with an emotion or two. I made the site responsive among other things. Give it a look see.

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  • Media Temple My go to hosting provider. You get rockstar hosting and I make a little cash. No pressure, just clean honest fun.

Past work

  • Christine Chaney Creative The online presence of Seattle artist Christine Chaney. Specializing in architecture, art and apparel.
  • Get Your Shit Together This is a site dedicated to helping you get your shit together before an unexpected tragedy, like the loss of a loved one.
  • IHG Instagram Sweepstakes An awesome Instagram driven sweepstakes site for IHG.
  • Trivial Beersuit A site that provides professional pub trivia to bars and restaurants.
  • Audi YouTube Channel This site was a quick turn-around hair pulling adventure for the Super Bowl: revamping Audi’s YouTube Channel.
  • Teach.org The new Teach.org. Providing tools to help students become teachers.
  • Valhalla DSP A one man Seattle based company, writing pretty sick professional audio plugins. Check ’em out!
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Launch This sweet new Visual Studio 2012 Launch website sports a mobile first, responsive web design architecture and comes in 14 different languages.
  • Nice Manners Music Nice Manners is an LA based recording studio offering their clients all sorts of digital audio services. This is a demo of an internal genre based music search & player I built for them. I am ecstatic about launching this project—check it out.
  • Holiday Inn Tumblr A quick, fully responsive update to the Holiday Inn Tumblr page.
  • Microsoft's Art of Touch An artful HTML5 Microsoft website. Sadly, this site is no longer live.
  • Microsoft Hardware Healthy Computing Tool A useful little tool to help you find the perfect Microsoft mouse or keyboard.
  • Pella Professional Pella manufactures high quality doors and windows. This is their professional site.
  • Imaging the World A non-profit dedicated to providing ultrasound services in remote areas of the world.
  • Ginny Ruffner: A not so still life A site for a documentary film about Seattle artist Ginny Ruffner.

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