Hi, Pot, It’s Me, Kettle

I ignored my own advice last month, and it bit me in the behind. Here’s what happened.

I met with a potential new client about a series of projects that included a logo, marketing templates, and a basic WordPress website. The website would need everything from soup to nuts, including domain registration, hosting, and email. I’ve done all of those things before, and I’ve partnered with the developer on other projects, so I got her quote for the website procurement and development, added in the email as a quick deliverable, and sent off the proposal. Nothing fancy here, right?

WRONG. As I learned after we started the project, setting up email is really easy unless it involves a certain Microsoft offering and extra security layers, set up for people on different platforms who aren’t tech savvy. Oops. In my initial talk with the client, I didn’t know that I didn’t know to ask about that, and the developer didn’t know that we had even included that because I thought it was too basic to even mention. I had ignored my own advice of getting all stakeholders involved at the beginning to gather the information. My assumption resulted in a lot of extra work for her and some lost money for me. We got the work done and the client was happy, but it could have been a lot smoother behind the scenes.

Then, this happened… 

This week, I got a request for a similar website project for another client, and instead of making any assumptions at all, I made sure all of the relevant people were on the initial call and followed my own advice. No more guessing on my end—there’s a reason I partner with smart people who know things I don’t. Lesson learned!

Have you ignored your own advice and been burned? Or wish you’d known something before you embarked on a project? I’d love to hear about it.

And if you aren’t sure what you don’t know about an upcoming design project, just ask. It’s just one of the ways to ensure you get great design service.