We take on projects where we are, as I call it, the “Axure pair of hands.” Someone has a design but they want to see it come to life in Axure. They know we’d be faster than they would be, and we’ll build a kick-ass file they can show off, maintain, or retire after its defined purpose(s).
One thing I’ve noticed about those projects is that they tend to run way longer than I anticipate. My estimates are off. We’re billing by the hour, yet the client isn’t bothered that it’s taking longer. What’s going on here?
For these projects, they are running way longer because the files the client sends us to put into Axure aren’t correct, approved, proofread, or finalized. We are getting files that aren’t quite ready. Once someone notices what’s wrong with them or the client comes back with more changes, the files are re-sent to us. We sometimes have to nearly completely rebuild the prototype with a whole new set of images.
We are typically getting these images as Photoshop comps or Sketch files with layers and groupings.
Lots of projects run long. How much longer are these running?
Without naming names, one project I was sure was 5 hours. They re-sent it so many times with so many changed comps that it took 25 hours. Another project I estimated at 10-15 hours. It ended up around 30 hours.
In both cases, these projects would have come in at or under my estimate if the (first) file we were sent truly were the completely done, no more changes, finalized file.
But we don’t mind!
Our clients know we are billing by the hour. And these clients often fall on their sword, apologizing for how many times they have sent changed files. All of these clients were grateful for how many changes we did and how quickly we did them.
Sometimes you don’t notice a mistake in a design until you see it brought to life in a prototype. That’s one of the many great benefits of adding prototyping to your UX process.
If you want to pay us extra to redo things that we didn’t get wrong, we will accept that payment. 🙂
This is also why we don’t quote a flat “project” price.
Projects are, by nature, unpredictable. An estimate of hours is always just that.
We usually look awesome by coming in at or under the hours that we estimated. Clients love that! However, in cases like these, the clients could have saved time and money by getting us “perfect” files, even if that meant delaying our part of the project until those files are ready.