You might be a designer who has never really had to deal face-to-face with clients before, or you might be a client who is seeking design work for the first time. For whatever reason, talking about a graphic design portfolio can actually be a difficult and intimidating task – you don’t want to use terminology that the client won’t understand and you don’t want to insult their work after all.
The first thing to understand is that this is not easy, especially for designers, but it is certainly a good skill to learn. Try not to be afraid of making mistakes when discussing a portfolio; instead, treat each meeting as a training opportunity that teaches you what is and isn’t okay to say. For a designer, the aim is engage potential clients in your work. For a client, the aim is to gather more information.
Clients will like to discuss your graphic design portfolio because they are trying to determine whether you possess the skills to undertake their project, whereas designers will like to discuss it so that they can show you that their work is of a high quality. By being aware of these reasons, you can ensure that you don’t alienate the other party during the discussion and that you answer all queries.
Finally, you must be aware of how the person (or persons) you are speaking with is reacting to your comments. As a designer, watch for the clients’ reaction when you briefly explain a project that is similar to their own. As a client, look for the artist’s reaction when you ask them questions about their graphic design work or experience.
Think about the last time you looked something up on your mobile phone – did you keep hitting the wrong link or button when you were trying to navigate the site? This is a clear sign that the designer or developer has little experience with mobile web design, as they have failed to take into account the fact that fingers need a large target size for clicking.
But how big do these targets need to be to ensure that touchscreen users can navigate the website in relative ease? Even though developer guidelines for these sorts of features do exist, these guidelines don’t seem to be consistent with each other. When Apple says that they expect a minimum target size of 44 x 44 pixels and Nokia says that they will accept a minimum of 28 x 28 pixels, you can see why there is a problem.
Would you be surprised to learn, then, that both of these recommendations are entirely too small for most fingers? The average index finger size is around 45 to 57 pixels square, whilst the average thumb is about 72 pixels square. If you are working to the recommendations provided by Apple, your users will probably find that they are still experiencing the same problems.
As mobile web design becomes more and more popular, it is imperative that you take into account the target sizes that you are using. When testing how the design works, ask yourself whether you would struggle to press links and use the navigation or whether you would find it fairly easy. If you think that you would still struggle, you should consider making targets bigger.
If your website has been hacked in the past, you will know better than most how much work goes into fixing the chaos that the hacker managed to wreak before they were caught. The question that arises in many people’s minds, however, is that they have chosen a reputable web development company to build their site, so how on earth did it still manage to get hacked?
- Your web host is vulnerable: More often than not, a number of websites that are all hosted by the same company will be hacked together. If this is the case, the problem lies with your web host, who is vulnerable; report hacked websites immediately.
- Your computer (or your developer’s computer) has been compromised: This is a reflection of the vulnerability of the computer and not the site itself; malware can be used to steal passwords and infect uploaded files that in turn affect the website.
- Your code is poorly written: If your web development company has not properly coded all aspects of your website (from its forms, dynamic pages and even its CMS), it is likely that security holes will result. Code should always be tested before being released.
- Your content management system has security holes: If your CMS has not been kept secure, it’s likely that a hacker has found holes that they have been able to exploit. Whenever the developer releases a new version, make sure you update.
Unfortunately, no website is going to be completely hacker-proof, even if you have the most reputable web development company in the world working on your code. But by ensuring that known of the above issues has arisen, you can take active steps towards making it as difficult as possible for hackers to gain access to your private information.