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Alexander Rehm

Alexander Rehm is a web designer, information architect and usability & accessibility auditor. He's currently working as a Director of Live Operations and has extensive experience of leading and delivering challenging multi-channel client/transformation projects to schedule, budget and quality. This includes having developed large-scale architecture/frameworks for online services, catering for 2.5m+ users concurrently.

How to invoice for design work – a quick guide

So you have finally done it, you are a freelancer or have set up your own little design agency and you have your first clients with jobs coming in. And now comes the time that a project comes to the point where money is involved, be it just before the first 1/3 of the project is done or towards the end of the project. But what do you need to look out for? Where to go for resources if anything goes wrong?

Continue reading after the break for some strategies on how to invoice for your web design or web development work… Keep Reading

On “pricing” pages on design studio websites – a rant

Over the last couple of months (or maybe already since the beginning of 2008) more on more upcoming design studios are having a “pricing” page of sorts on their website explaining their pricing structure, what they charge for, sometimes already with a PayPal button.

I can but wonder what went through the mind of a design studio at that time…maybe it was like this:

Designer A: “Hey you know what, let’s make loads of money by adding the prices right there on the site! They will come in flocks!
Designer B: “You sure?
Designer A: “Of course I am, everyone does it these days!

As a matter of fact I am trying to find anyone in the top 100 or top 200 web design studios in Europe which showed a price for their work. And here is why you shouldn’t… Keep Reading

On Google Chrome – the new browser on the block

On Google Chroms - the new browser for the masses - Whatwasithinking.co.uk Google just launched its beta of Google Chrome, the in-house browser that is said to “combine a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.” The browser comes with a lot of interesting features such as a new tab look, a neat address bar giving you the options to search for keywords or auto-completing (even partial) web addresses, anonymus web surfing, web application shortcuts and the ability to isolate browser tabs in case anything goes wrong.

So let’s have a closer look at the browser compared to the competition… Keep Reading

On link usability – the art of keeping call to actions consistent

On Link usability - the art of keeping call to actions consistent Not so long ago I was asked by a client, if it was possible to change a couple of sections within their site as they just updated their product structure: the client was expanding their products to list two more categories. To make them stand out, their marketing team was thinking of using different colours throughout the main content area so that is looks much more consistent, which included changing all link colours and buttons to these new colours.

As a designer you have probably faced a similar situation before – can I or can I not change the link colours on certain pages to keep a consistent look and feel?

Yes, you can, but you shouldn’t ever. Here is why… Keep Reading

On Cuil, the new relevancy search engine (a rant)

Cuil, the new search engine looking for relevancy rather than popularity has seen the light of day today. Developed by former Google employees,it claims to be able to crawl through 120 billion pages (that is 3x more than Google and 10x more than Microsoft’s Live search). But what does it actually do and how does it perform?

Well I had had the chance to play around with it today, and I must say I am not overly impressed. Aside from the high server load and time-outs I managed to find either one of the two things:

  • Nothing, or
  • Anything but what I was after

Please read on to read more about my thoughts and usability concerns about Cuil… Keep Reading

On outsourcing work in the web design industry – things to look out for

On outsourcing work in the design industry - whatwasithinking.co.ukNot so long ago I received an email from a former student of mine who has just started up his own design studio asking whether or not outsourcing work to contractors, freelancers or studios makes sense and what to look out for.

Especially for upcoming design studios or companies / agencies who are lacking in a certain area (such as developers or Flash animators) it makes sense looking to outsource work to keep employment costs low and not having to worry about whether or not there will be enough work to keep someone (or a whole team) employed.

Read after the fold what to look out for… Keep Reading

WordPress 2.6 upgrade – small downtime, but Whatwasithinking is back!

Uprading WhatwasIthinking.co.uk to version 2.6We apologise for the 15 minute downtime last night, we have just ugraded WordPress to version 2.6 and the Automatic Upgrade plugin died on us due to a read-write permission error (I think!). But we are back now, happy days! :D

I am still working on getting my Yahoo-map-based travelblog prototype online, the Flash image-uploader is working fine, but there is an error once you have a number of users trying to connect / upload at the same time. Stay tuned for updates!

On Flash – map integration with Yahoo Maps + ActionScript (part 2)

On Flash - map integration with Yahoo Maps and ActionScript (part2)If you followed my entry about Map integration with Yahoo Maps and ActionScript you will probably be wondering what I have to report about the progress. As you may remember, this mash-up is about offering a client a new spin on travel bogging: being able to log in to the client’s website from anywhere in the world and give other users (and family and friends) the opportunity to see where you are going and what you are doing there.

Last time I wrote about this Yahoo / Flash mashup I connected the Yahoo map’s API through Flash and PHP to a MySQL database and was able to write / read from the entries. My next goals were to integrate a user-login, adding links, implementing moderation and a Flash image uploader script. Keep Reading