8 signs to when and why you need to redesign your portfolio website.

What"s the best way to communicate with your clients? Is it IM programs, emails or simple phone call would do? Communicating with your clients is very important, that"s why you have to make sure you are both comfortable with the way you are communicating, that"s so you both understand each other well.

Emails

I bet you won"t (or at least have difficulties) finding a person from age 12 to 50 that doesn"t have an email account somewhere on the net. Emails have become a long way to interact and communicate with others around the world. We can see the power of emails regarding business; people are actually using emails to do business! Even with the goodness of this online application, emails can be very annoying to use as well as problematic. Let"s look at the good and bad of email communications:

The advantages
  • Good to be sending a lot of information at a time. Emails make people be very descriptive and to the point. Although sometimes when it"s over written and becomes a 5-page email. Additionally, it gives email users the ability to add, delete or edit their messages as much as they want which leads to better understanding.
  • One of the best features about emails is that your previous emails are saved, so there is no need to remember or store information in word documents on your computer. Personally, if it didn"t have this feature, I would hate to see myself collecting information so I don"t forget.
  • Emails are very simple to use. I think that"s one of the reasons why emails became and still are so popular, because of the simplicity to send or receive a message.
  • Emails are quite a fast communication method, although not as fast as IM programs.
  • Registering to an email account is usually free.
  • Emails can be very organized, such as using folders (Sent, Drafts, Custom folders and so on).
The disadvantages
  • Some people see it as an "Informal" method of communicating. They still prefer paper since it's more "realistic".
  • Unwanted and unknown messages enter. I believe they are called spam and who doesn't hate spam?
  • Emails can cause short conversations take days. This happens usually when there is no phone or some IM program access. Short emails with just questions is like asking a question and waiting for it to be answered the next 1 or 2 days, can be frustrating.
  • Because emails require time to write, people are lazy to do so.
  • If you think that "fast", "easy" and "safe" go together, you are wrong. Safe is not part of these 3 words long time ago. Nether is "private".
  • If you don"t check your email, you wouldn"t know who wanted to contact you. In other words, emails are very easy to ignore unlike someone talking to you face to face or to the phone.
  • Low-tech clients might have hard time using emails. (Oh believe me, it"s horrible!
IM Programs

IM programs (or Instant messaging programs) have become very famous in the Internet world. ICQ, MSN, AOL and lots of others are used by billions of people from different places in the world to simply do one thing: communicate.
But are they as good as we think they are? Would you say they are the ultimate way of communicating with other people around the world? Let"s look at the advantages and the disadvantages of IM programs.

The advantages
  • As it"s name, it"s instant, meaning it let"s the user to send and receive quick messages through the specific program, or in other words, faster communication. Also it let"s you "talk" to people across the Internet in real time.
  • IM programs are usually free to download from the Internet to home computer and easily installed.
  • Obviously it"s private (one-to-one) conversations, or multiple (one-to-many).
  • Files, such as photos and documents, are easily shared between two computers.
  • Lots of cool and features, such as cameras (from one computer to another) and voice conversations. Can definitely improve conversations.
  • Spam free! Meaning you are not going to be seen: "You have received 9543 spam messages".
  •  
  • It"s simply fun and addictive!
The disadvantages
  • IM programs aren"t really "in style" for low-tech people, whom I"m probably assuming, the majority of my clients are! And if they got an IM program, it"s because they got kids, but they themselves see it as the Matrix!
  • IM programs aren"t meant to be sending a lot of information at a time. Usually 1 to 3 sentences, and yet not formal.
  • Availability is sometimes, if not most of the cases, a problem. People, especially your clients, aren"t online all day and it makes it hard to reach.
  •  
  • IM program users might interpret sent messages the wrong way and can cause a misunderstanding in the conversation. Also because of the lack of explanations, emotions, or words.
  • Instant messages are sometimes hard to follow, especially for slow and low-tech people.
  •  
  • Not all IM programs save important conversations you had a couple of days ago resulting in you losing necessary information.
Phone Calls
 

When it comes to communication, phone calls are called the old fashion way. Why? Probably because Internet communication has taken over the new age, and now the phone is "old style". Communicating through phone can be the simplest and faster way of talking, but sometimes not really the best. Let"s look at the advantages and the disadvantages of calling clients:

The advantages
  • There can't be a faster communication than this, it's almost like talking face-to-face.
  • To the point, understandable and very friendly
  • Emotions such as laughing are real, and are not expressed by a fake smiley :)
  • In case of cellphones, you take your phone with you anywhere, or in one word, portable. You are able to reach and to be reached at almost anytime anywhere.
The disadvantages  
  • Definitely not free
  • Sometimes long and important talks (with clients) makes you forget some little yet important details.
  • Common fear of talking on the phone - you might forget some important things you wanted to mention or add, but you forgot, maybe because of tenseness
  •  
Final Words:

Each way of communication has it"s own advantage on other methods, but also has it"s own negatives. Unlike emails and IM programs, phone can be a complicated and an expensive method to contact people outside the country. Unlike IM programs and phone calls, Emails can take days or weeks for messages to make their point while a 2-minute phone call or an IM program conversation could end it. Unlike phones and emails, IM programs are sometimes hard to follow and/or remember.

I am aware of other communication methods, such as VoIP, but chose to write on three most basic methods nowadays. VoIP (or Voice over internet protocol) also has it's own advantages and disadvantages as well as all other methods.

What do you prefer out of these 3 ways of communicating? What do you think is best for you and your client? Why?

 

entry info

The entry "8 signs to when and why you need to redesign your portfolio website." was posted on December 03, 2007 at 00:00 by Dor Dan.

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Design, Tips n' Tutorials.

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previous entries
Sleeping for creativity.
Emails, IM programs, and phone calls: Advantages and disadvantages.
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Lynettaelviaq
March 28, 2009

Nice tips

Care to critisize or tell some comments on my portfolio, http://www.fedmich.com/works/

Thanks in advance to those who would help :)

Fedmich
February 07, 2008

Is a new captcha better?

Valentine Stoianov
December 05, 2007

And if it is time for you to redesign, why not signup for <a href="http://designdeadline.com">Design Deadline</a> and give yourself a hard deadline to meet, some motivation to impress and instant traffic once you launch? :)

Adam
December 04, 2007

Great Article, lots of great info! thanks

http://www.flashframer.com

Flash Framer
December 04, 2007

I think designers "over create" their portfolios. They try to add to much fancy looking effects and graphics, as a result the itself. The subject matter should be put upfront and the rest should be built around it.

I've seen many sites from great designers, and most of them run into this site absorbed portfolio problem because every designer is too concerned about CREATIVITY. Creativity in such cases should only be used to decorate the information a little bit, but information shouldn't be decoration itself.


By the way, fix your captcha, because its really hard to read and if you submit with the wrong captcha your whole post gets deleted, ...and retyping is my thing. Good thing I selected the whole text before submitting.
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Bibikova.com

Ben Bibikov
December 03, 2007

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