And now a word from the department of horn tooting…
I just completed an eight month review of user experience and content strategy for a $5 million dollar software project. It was one of the most rewarding and elaborate gigs I’ve had the pleasure of working on in recent years.
Better yet, it wasn’t for a software company. It was for an offline company that’s building new software to reach more customers. (NOTE: I don’t have anything against software companies. It’s just working as a software critic for offline and/or hardware companies is a lot more enjoyable, since they value your expertise more than someone paying you to fill in talent gaps.)
It wasn’t the largest project I’ve worked on. I’ve had a tiny say in the outcome of more costly developments budgeted at $20 million. But it’s certainly the one that called on my expertise the most.
More than 300 hours billed, 100 pages of written analysis (single spaced for all you college kids), across 12 different disciplines. I did user evaluations, analytics research, and my absolute favorite: content strategy.
But not only did the client pay me for my recommendations, they actually listened to me. My supervising manager was the most profesional and respectful I’ve ever worked with. She appreciated the work and incorporated my good ideas into the project, while putting my bad or otherwise poorly thought-out ideas quickly to rest right in front of me. The most assertive client I can remember.
Not only that, but the gig was pure strategy. They haven’t even started the design and development portions. And that’s what made this project what ’90s kids would call “the bomb.” It paid well. And my nine years of post baccalaureate carreer experience was all being put to good use. More than anything, it felt good to be wanted and listened to.
In terms of work, one of the worst feelings is having someone pay for your ideas, only to see them being thrown to the way side later. Admittedly, that’s better than not getting paid for your ideas. But it’s not as satisfactory as getting paid for your ideas while seeing them show up in the result.
That’s what made this project so rewarding.
Thank you, ma’am, I’ll have another.