Web design veteran Jeffrey Zeldman writes about how his company approaches client proposals:
AS THE HEAD of a newish design studio, I spend a fair amount of time writing proposals. And here’s how I like to do it. I do it like a conversation, and that’s how we start: with phone calls and emails to one or two key decision makers, followed by a research period of about two to three weeks. And when I say research, what I’m really talking about — besides the usual competitive analysis, analytics, and testing — is even more conversations, but this time with a wider net of stakeholders and customers.
Read the whole thing here:
As part of the professional practice work it’s worth giving some thought to how you go from identifying a possible client to actually defining the job you’re trying to accomplish. As I’ve said before, it’s best not to expect (or ask for) a brief. If you’re given one (because that’s what people think they need to give designers), I recommend thinking of it as a set of initial thoughts that the client’s sharing with you. It’s almost never an accurate description of what the problem really is.