I’m surrounded by independent designers and programmers so I get to hear a thing or two about client experiences and what is going on behind the scenes of independent design “firms”. One disturbing trend that I noticed this year is that deadlines no longer have any meaning. We set deadlines for our own tasks or clients might ask us of deadlines for their projects and we will provide them, but more and more I am seeing these deadlines not getting met. Whether it is the client’s fault or our own these deadlines come and go faster than startups.
Have we always lived in a world where deadlines have no meaning? Have we become so full of ourselves in this Web 2.0 world that we have created our own celebrity status and feel that we are above such things? I suck the most at meeting my own deadlines and instead of getting angry or frustrated at myself for missing them I simply make excuses. Do you do that with your client work?
Maybe you are at a job and the current client doesn’t fit with how you work because you don’t do deadlines. Deadlines are too restrictive and hinder the creative process right? Missing deadlines is an addicting thing. You miss one and make an excuse and realize it isn’t so bad to miss them so you miss another one and another. Soon you laugh internally at the thought of setting a date for the project to finish or maybe you still convince yourself that this one time you will actually get it done.
It never happens.
Designers and coders expect to get paid what they feel they are worth and when they do are they fulfilling the expectations of the clients that have paid them? We want money yet don’t want to help our clients make that money back by doing stuff when it should be done. If we lose these clients no worries because we have five more potentials sending us emails right? All we need to do is pump out one nice looking website every two months and a couple more clients will trickle in and the ones that were complaining about missed deadlines will disappear and our reputations will go untarnished.
I can’t say if doing bad work ever catches up to you in this new digital world, but if that day ever comes to pass a lot of us our fucked. Till then, fuck deadlines, it can wait till next week.