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 and information upon which we can base 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. We do however deeply empathize with your users in order to make the best possible design decisions while doing our work.
You will often be prompted for feedback on the work we do, and we expect that this feedback should be free of personal opinions and biases. 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, 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. We will challenge your feedback and opinions, not because we want you to revert, but because we want to learn why you think a certain way.
Sometimes all we have to work with are hypotheses. Instead of battling who's hypotheses might be better, we should focus on executing as many as possible, as quickly as possible, testing them out, and refine them iteratively.
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 here wants to make themselves look bad, and we certainly don't want to make you look bad on purpose.
We will 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.
Failure to plan and execute on your end can not result in an urgency on ours. We know things are hard to predict, but we need to be responsible when dealing with expectations, scopes, and dates.
All dates and costs are educated guesses rather than absolute values, unless noted otherwise.
No deadlines on Fridays.