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Interview with Jeremy Britton, Partner at ZURB

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One of the most difficult parts of being a freelancer is figuring out what to quote for projects. What advice would you give to designers about discussing money with clients?

Be straight up and ask about time frame and budget. Make sure you ask direct questions, find out how the company is funded, what stage are they in, pay attention and use that to learn about the client and what their budget is. You’ll start to see patterns with companies. Be confident in your work, and keep track of time to apply lessons from one job to the next. Be prepared to walk away. Steer clear of discounting your rates. Find the right size project for yourself, and if you don't get a job, find out why by simply asking.

Aside from the larger apps created by ZURB, the ZURB Playground offers up some great solutions and tools for web designers. Are these generally things you create for your own projects first? How do you decide what to share with the community and how has this helped your business?

Almost all of our tools were originally developed with clients, but a few were experimental. We wanted to record history for our team to reference and also see if other people wanted to use what we had created. It became a great way to connect with others. It inspires us to take something further when we publish it, and it becomes our library for our own projects. It is also a marketing effort, because it shows that we can implement our ideas and be part of the community.

Anything else?

Many designers don't know about the history of product and industrial design. Look back at 1920's to 1940's and what was happening that you could pick up on. For example, Apple is not only copying themselves, but also Polaroid from the old days. Also, read the Henry Dreyfuss book Designing for People.

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