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While working on a design project for a client, I decided to take notes on 3 key things I learned during the usual design process. Similar to previous client projects, this client decided to purchase and use a WordPress theme. My job was to oversee the developing, editing, and customization of the site. I spent the last 2 days recoding portions of the site, designing the logo, establishing the brand and color scheme, and setting up the Twitter and RSS feeds. As always, those past 2 days were not a walk-in-the-park. And because of that, there were a few things I learned that I thought would be worth sharing.

Here’s what I learned:

1. Be prepared to get outside help when needed.
I had to contact GoDaddy – the client’s hosting provider – several times yesterday with issues with transferring files to the FTP Client. The theme that the client purchased had a few problems with file placement. I even ran into a problem that required me to re-install the WordPress Application into the client’s hosting which stalled the design process several times.

Lesson here —> Allocate extra time for research and getting outside help if necessary. As a growing freelancer, there are several problems I run into when working through projects like these. The good thing is that it forces you to learn and to figure it out.

2. Don’t be afraid to contact the original developer.
I sent several emails to the original designer of the WordPress theme. One good thing that I’ve learned is that there are some errors that even I as a designer can’t fix. I kept coming up with the wrong answer as to how to fix a problem with the 3D flash image slider. Luckily, the designer responded back in a timely manner.

Lesson here —> If you are working with or customizing a purchased WordPress theme, make sure the original designer is accessible just in case you may run into problems during the editing process.

3. Do more than what’s expected.
I decided to go ahead and set up the RSS feed and Twitter feed. So, every time the client writes a post or creates a new page, it is automatically tweeted on the church’s Twitter page. I also decided to redesign the client’s Twitter background as a free courtesy. Now, let’s be real here. Every project that I take on won’t forward me the opportunity to go the extra mile. There are many times where you may just have enough time and creativity to do only what the client asks. However, this particular project was flexible enough for me to do a little more than what was expected.

Lesson here —> Your goal/objective as a designer shouldn’t always be to get paid or get the design project over with, but to ADD VALUE; to exceed the client’s expectation.

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