Web design isn't cheap

Posted: September 14, 2007 in Computing, General

Web design isn’t cheap. Well, what I mean is that great web design isn’t cheap. Not all that long ago I decided to try to get a little more of my life back and turned over my final freelance client to ForeSite. I really enjoyed working for Skinovative, but the time and energy it took competed with my happiness. It was a tough decision because I had a lot of freedom working for them, and that extra paycheck was nice.

Working as part of the ForeSite team I was about to continue building some great stuff for Skinovative. Of course when I was working for Skinovative I was charging them a discounted freelance rate. As a corporation with overhead, ForeSite’s rate is (obviously) not nearly as reasonable, and after six months the client started to wonder why their Web development was costing so much.

Keep in mind, this wasn’t a few pages here and there, but two large web sites, and intranet and a training site (not to mention a fair amount of print design). We were working 15-20 hours each week on Skinovative stuff. Things were not smooth sailing after six months. There was a management shakeup, and the new management began to question every line item (of course they were asking about how our time was spent from bills they received two months before). Ultimately Skinovative decided to go their own way (abandoning two large intranet projects in the process).

A few months ago I noticed that Skinovative’s training center (Academy of Aesthetic Medicine) scrapped my original site and replaced it with something different. Then a few weeks ago the same thing happened to Skinovative’s main web site. Both designs were done by the same developer (I’m guessing).

I’m disappointed to see these new designs, not because my designs were replaced, but because they were replaced with inferior versions. Table-based layouts and amateurish designs that look half-a-decade old. Of special note is the non-validating form that accepts credit card information over a non-secure web page (this is a law-suit waiting to happen). On the up-side I’m sure they’re not paying their new web developer too much money.

If you want to see what the original (XHTML valid) sites looked like, you can view screenshots of Skinovative’s web site and AAM’s web site in my portfolio.

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