Marcel van Werkhoven

COO at Studio Projectie Joined almost 3 years ago

  • 7 stories
  • 142 comments
  • 39 upvotes
  • Posted to Bristol Web Agency Portfolio - Any constructive feedback would be appreciated!, Feb 17, 2019

    Your website seems well thought out but I'm missing the 'hook' of your agency. The focus on a "websites that work" is a tricky one because clients asssume that their website works..You don't want to plant the idea in their heads that their website might not work. A working website is the bare minimum they expect and I wouldn't gun for the bare minimum.

    I think the pitch on your 'About' page about keeping things transparent and customer focused is stronger.

    Because you focus on local businesses I would also make it as clear as possible what it is you do. I've experienced myself that you can call yourself a digital agency, brand builder etc. whatnot. If they don't see an image of a computer or a website on your homepage they don't understand what you do.

    Another tip. I'm missing the pictures of the people who I am working with. Especially because you are transparent and customer focused I expect to see who 'Peak' are.

    On my agency website the 'About us' page with all the people who work for us on it is the most visited one next to the portfolio page.

    1 point
  • Posted to Can I write “Creative Director” on a student résumé / CV?, Feb 09, 2019
    • Leaders tell people what they aspire to be, not what they are
    • Don't ask for permission to be who or what you want to become
    • Seize an opportunity when it presents itself
    • Identify the gaps in your knowledge and skill and start learning

    For example. My 'agency' used to be just a group of webdevelopers working with a custom built PHP CMS and mainting an online billing platform. We had 0 designers on the payroll as all design was outsourced. The company split and I found myself promoted from project manager to the 'COO' role. I rebranded us to a Digital Agency and I figured it out from there.

    About 2 - 3 years later we have experience in a wide variety of fields. We've grown from 4 employees to 12, including a great design team and the agency completely transformed. I didn't ask anyone for permission to start selling our services as a Digital Agency nor did anyone question my title as COO. Of course it took a lot of work on my end to fill in the missing gaps in my skillset. I could no longer ignore HR, finance and other fields I had previously not wanted to get involved in.

    If you think you can do a great job as a creative director, make that your title. Don't let anyone tell you, you can't do it. Even if you land a job and it doesn't work out you'll probably learn from the experience. I learned that axing development on an ancient CMS and switching over to WordPress would mean losing some people we thought were irreplacable.

    Maybe you aim too high or maybe it'll work out. You won't know unless you take the risk and try. But if you move in at say a junior designer role from college and don't make yourself get noticed in a leadership position you could be 'stuck' in that spot for a long, long time.

    This wasn't easy mind you. But running an agency with happy employees and serving some big clients that love the work that we do tells me that I made the right call.

    0 points
  • Posted to How do I tell a client no?, Jan 28, 2019

    1 - Identify the risks at the start of the project. I always ask the client to prioritize: scope/quality, budget and time(delivery).

    If budget is the least of their concern and they're focused on scope/quality I can just quote more if they want additional stuff or if I have additional ideas. If the deadline is important to them I can use that as an argument against further changes (we'll miss the deadline if you want me to do this) Something can't be cheap, high quality and delivered fast.

    2 - Create a clear roadmap for the project so the client knows when the concept phase ends and the refining begins (when can they give feedback and when is the design locked down?).

    3 - Never do changes for free or outside of what you've put down in your roadmap. Instead give them options such as:

    It'll cost more (you will have to re-do work which was already done and accepted) It'll take longer to deliver the product (again, you will have to put in extra work) The quality will take a hit (sure, we can have a second go at the splash screen but that means no time to work on the social media integration)

    Based on the priorities you've asked at the start you can make a pretty good guess on how to best control the client.

    Usually clients don't understand the creative process or the order in which things are made and you sort of have to guide them through it. These late changes usually don't come from the clients themselves but friends/co-workers/aunts/cousins etc. .

    0 points
  • Posted to Site Design: Gucci Gifts, in reply to tarek s , Jan 13, 2019

    Hadn't logged onto this website in forever. So I hadn't seen your comment until today. But yes I would be able to develop a website like this.

    0 points
  • Posted to How much does a website cost in 2019?, Jan 13, 2019

    This was the average pricing for my agency in 2018:

    Small/mid-size business

    < 2000 (one pager as a bare bones solution or if time isn't an issue we turn it into an educational project for an intern)

    2000 - 3000 (basic WordPress website with customized theme using existing brand)

    3000 - 7000 (basic WordPress website with additional content creation (photography/copywriting/branding))

    Corporate

    4000 - 5000 (starting price for a small marketing/event website using an existing brand)

    5000 - 10000 (additional services, main brand website or a large website)

    10k+ (we don't want WordPress / multi language etc.)

    Prices are in Euro. (I would say multiply them by 1.5 to get a dollar figure)

    Asking more than 3k for a WordPress website is out of range for most small businesses. Our pricing is mid range. Some agencies offer the second option for 1500. Some do websites for 599 (although the work is terrible obviously).

    What I usually don't get about these tools is how an uneditable site starts at 3.5k and a WordPress website is suddenly 6.5k. WordPress is free, a theme license sets you back $200 - $500 and offering a CMS(with a page builder) makes your own work easier as well.

    1 point
  • Posted to Ask DN: If you don't like or don't want to code can you help me understand why?, Jun 06, 2018

    A good designer can pretty much use any tool to create a design. With that said, coding comes with its benefits. Having the option to build HTML/CSS and some javascript yourself means that you can better create the design the way that you want it. Also designers that know a bit of code understand which sort of designs are easy or hard to build and are better at handing specs to other developers.

    Having no coding experience whatsoever as a designer is like writing a piece of music without being able to play it yourself. You don't have to play it yourself because there are better musicians for specific instruments but it helps when you understand 'how' the piece is going to be played.

    One example is font rendering. Every time I work with an external designer with little to no coding experience they will use one of the 900 font weights in their designs. Edge / FireFox and Chrome each have their own way of handling 'bold' styles and in most cases the difference between font-weight 300 or 400 is barely visible.

    2 points
  • Posted to It's 2018 and Material Design still uses a floppy disk as a Save icon, Jun 01, 2018

    This week we said to one of our interns: "Click on the floppy" She asked: "What's a floppy?"

    I agree it's time to retire this icon.

    1 point
  • Posted to Running an agency, May 08, 2018

    Great read. I agree with almost every point you raised.

    Some things that I would add to the list: - On-boarding process (put a on-boarding process in place for new employees) - Never offer discounts in your first offer - Don't do free work - Always get a signed contract before you do anything!

    0 points
  • Posted to Adobe Illustrator vs XD for animation-heavy project (After Effects/Bodymovin'/Lottie), Apr 29, 2018

    I'm quite a fan of XD but never used the set-up you propose. I mainly use XD to create a high-fidelity prototype and animations and such aren't added until production.

    How is Lottie/Bodymovin these days? I remember trying it last year but finding it a bit cumbersome. Some AE functions are supported. others aren't so it got kinda complicated to figure out what would work. Compared to say a GSAP or AnimeJS solution the bar to get started was also fairly high. You need to be both an expert in AI, AE as well as in the basic concepts of SVG animation.

    0 points
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