Rule number one: no legal-talk here.
Since we'll be working together we feel that it's important that we understand each-other easily, so the following will be written as plainly as possible.
We hope you appreciate the candor.
No one knows more about your business than you. You understand that you will need to make yourself available to us, to ask questions and provide data upon which we can base our design decisions.
We are experts in design. You have engaged us on behalf of our expertise, and acknowledge that we are more suitable to make decisions related to said expertise.
We are your independent partner, and our relationship with you is not the same as the one you have with your employees.
It's important to note that we can never care about your company or product as much as you do, and it would be wrong to ask this of us, or assume that we do.
As professional designers we posses the gift of empathy which enables us to role-play our way into various perspectives, such as different user personas, as well as that of project stakeholders. This is how we objectively make design-related decisions, and present them as such.
You will always be asked for feedback on the work we do for you, and this feedback should be free of personal opinions. It will be expected of you to have a valid counter-argument for every change request you raise.
We don’t expect you to know design when we ask for feedback — best leave the decisions about layout, spacing, colors, fonts, etc. to us — but ultimately you are in control and we’re going to ask you to make certain business decisions that will influence the design.
The feedback that you provide should result in a productive discussion, and lead to an improved result, not to satisfy anyone's vanity.
Sometimes all we have to work with are hypotheses. Instead of battling who's hypotheses is better, we should decide quickly, move on, and remember to follow up on it at an appropriate time.
We should always look for a way to measure the results of our work. Conducting a simple test through an un-biased group of users should always be the primary way of resolving our differences concerning design.
The work that we produce for you is a representation of us, as much as it is of you. No one wants to make themselves look bad, and we certainly don't want to make you look bad.
We always operate in your best interest, but our path to get to the desired results may differ from the one you would maybe take, and that's OK.
We will be wrong at times. That's OK too. It's a part of the learning process, and we will be constantly learning about you and your business. Aim to provide advice based on your domain knowledge that we can use to do our jobs better.
Your failure to plan and conduct activities on your end, can not result in an urgency on ours. Producing work on a short notice will yield passable results at best, and should not become a regular occurrence.
All dates and costs are educated guesses rather than absolute values, unless noted otherwise.
No deadlines on Fridays.
Let's avoid meetings over 30 minutes, or 3 people in attendance.
Best results come out of trusting, mutually-beneficial relationships.