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Nonprofit Design (a.k.a. Designing with your Heart) – HOPE Pregnancy Center

Posted on August 27, 2009

Everyone here at Moxie has a passion for design. For taking an idea and making it reality. For seeing a customer succeed, products take flight, businesses get noticed. But we also have a passion for helping others in need. With our creative skills, we’ve had the opportunity to help many local, national and international organizations.

HOPE Pregnancy Resource Center Web Site

HOPE Pregnancy Resource Center Web Site

One of our favorite local organizations is HOPE Pregnancy Center. We’ve had the honor of working with them over the last 4 years. We’ve helped tweak their logo and design (and redesign) brochures. We’ve created beautiful invitations to yearly banquets and outdoor retreats. But today, I’d like to introduce you to their web site.

Originally the site was designed back in 2006, but as the site grew and content became key, we saw a need to revamp it again in 2008. The target audience remained the same, women with crisis pregnancies in their late teens to early 30’s, but we didn’t want the design to be too feminine. HOPE’s web site is also a great source of information and support for families and fathers. The design had to be soft and welcoming, yet inviting to men as well. Not an easy task!
And so, the new HOPE web site was born. And it’s been a huge success. Information is at your finger tips, you can quickly contact them (and they will contact you back!) and they even have a Facebook group. So check them out, contact them if you or someone you know in the Central WI area needs assistance. And if you are able, they always have a need for donations.

HOPE Pregnancy Resource Center - Donate Page

HOPE Pregnancy Resource Center - Donate Page

Here are Moxie, we design to help others, to help you and to help fill our hearts with happiness. If you or someone you know is looking for a creative team that cares, please contact us! At Moxie, we are here to serve our customers, to help YOU SUCCEED!




The Art of Estimating

Posted on August 20, 2009

One of the hardest and most frustrating things that we do as designers are estimates. Ugh…the dreaded task of trying to pin down the value and time limit for the work that we create. Yes, it’s a necessary evil, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it!

It is nearly impossible to know beforehand how long a project will take, and that is something that customers often have a difficult time understanding. It varies depending upon the subject matter, the type of work being done and how creative or off-the-wall it needs to be. Oh, but that’s just the beginning. There are so many, may other factors to take into consideration, and a lot of it depends on the customer themselves. How many people, both creatives and customers (the dreaded designed-by-committee) will be involved? How many rounds of changes do they expect to go through? How many discussions, meetings or phone conferences are required during the creative process?  Will all content be available at the start of the project or will it trickle in as time goes on? Does the web site need to be programmed in a specific language or way to meet the IT departments requirements? Are they expecting the logo to be redesigned as part of the brochure project? Customers sometimes have expectations that we aren’t aware of during the estimating process, which is why an estimate is really, just a (somewhat) educated guess.

So bear with us as we spend a day or two (or five) as we review the project scope, try to get inside your head and figure out what your expectations are. And after all that, put a number on it. I know, it’s a daunting task.

If you are looking for a team that has the art of estimating refined, we are the team for you! Visit our web site to find what we do, and how WE CAN HELP YOU.




The Customer Is Always Right (Even When They Aren’t)

Posted on July 23, 2009

“The customer is always right.”

Hmmm… Maybe, instead,  it’s more about finding the balance with a customer.

(Photo by channah.)

(Photo by channah.)

 

When YOU are the customer, “the customer is always right” sounds like a good motto and the idea is you’ll always get what you want (even though in our hearts we know this is probably not true). When you’re the one DEALING with a customer, however, there is a fine line you need to walk to keep them happy AND create work you can be proud of. As designers, we spend so much time on this imaginary “line” that we’ve built a town (complete with coffee shop, vegan deli and theater).

When a client requests our services for a design, most of the time these clients are not designers themselves. They have come to us because they have confidence in our abilities and know they will receive a good quality product. It’s like when I take my car to the mechanic. I trust he knows how to change the oil, rotate the tires and fix whatever it is that is making that noise. And he does, my mechanic is amazing. It’s only when I have to take my car somewhere else I get nervous. What if they don’t know what they’re doing? What if they don’t have my best interests in mind? It’s the chance I take sometimes because I don’t know much about cars.

Good designers have their client’s best interests in mind. They won’t try to sell them something they don’t need, and they definitely won’t create something while disregarding what the client has requested. That’s not saying a good designer won’t bring other options to the table. Often times the client doesn’t know there are other options, techniques and styles that could better convey their message. In the end, however, it is the client’s decision. It’s their product. It’s their message.

At Moxie, we don’t always agree with our clients’ choices. Sometimes we even strongly disagree with them. We will voice our concerns and give reasoning behind these concerns, but we will never force a client to accept something they don’t like. It’s not our style.

At Moxie, it is more important to build a good working relationship with our clients than win a single battle of wills. We want the client to be happy with the final product and use us for future projects, not remember an unpleasant experience and choose someone else next time. Some clients make this easier than others, and Moxie always tries to find the balance.

Check us out at www.thinkmoxie.com.

 

Post written by Cristy Wiza.




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