Book Club: Mike Monteiro – Design is a Job

UMS Book Club

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Here’s the link to the event page where we did the live show.


Mike Monteiro

Mike Monteiro (@Mike_FTW) – Mule Design out of San Francisco
Design is a Job – #7 in the A Book Apart series

Questions for Mike

How did you get involved/invited to write a book for A Book Apart?
How did you figure out what you wanted to write about?/How did this title come about for you?

Let’s just go through your book piece by piece and see where the conversation leads us:

Getting Clients:
You talk about working from referrals. Is this the main way you continue to get work today?
How do you work at getting more referrals?
What do you mean by “be pleasant, don’t be nice”?

From a traditional “sales” approach, what has worked best for you? Advertising wise, conferences, blogging, the podcasts?

The Right Client(s):
What type of client will you turn down working with?
How important is it to you to work with clients that respect you?
What are some “warning signs” that a client isn’t going to be what you want?
How do you help educate a client on “the value of design”?

How do you balance “making money” with “ethics”.

Making Money:
Charge as much as you can. Deliver honest value. Never work for free. – what do each of those mean to you?

How do you charge for work? Value right?

Why is it important to “Mention ballpark prices early to avoid sticker shock” that seems like a pretty loaded statement.

I have this friend who is always apologising when he sends in his invoices. I’ve seen them first hand. He’ll say like:
hey i’m sorry this came out on the high end of our budget range, hopefully that’s not a big deal for you.
What advice or coaching would you have for him?

You talk about “confidence” in regards to “negotiating” what do you mean?

How did you get to the point you are at right now with your contract?
You have a great lawyer, you say, you even brought him to your “fuck you pay me” creative mornings talk.
Why do you love him so much?

What are some scenarios where you’ve had to “enforce” your contract? Ever had it “enforced” back on you?

Matt Rosno

My design work often includes a software deliverable, like a site or app. How do you respond when your client asks for a support period after the project is completed? You want to keep relations good with the client, but you also want reimbursed for your time. It’s hard because even the best software has bugs, and you want to deliver the best of your capabilities. You don’t want it to seem like you left bugs in there for your next contracted work.

How do you help/coach your client into getting you workable feedback?

Does your brain explode when a client sends you wireframes or maybe even a
“quick photoshop comp just to tell you what they were thinking?”

Prize Winner

Robin Small wins a Moo Cards business card pack.

Links to things mentioned during the discussion:

Design is a Job Book

Thank You!

THANK YOU’s for listening to the first UMS Book Club and thank you all for becoming members, we’re going to send everyone who “joined” and gives us their address a little welcome kit!

Thanks to Mike – go get his book if you haven’t already.


Gene Crawford

With over a decade of experience in the industry he has overseen the design and architecture of hundreds of web sites and applications. An active member in the design community, he's the editor & producer of, the ConvergeSE, ConvergeFL, ConvergeRVA and the Breaking Development conference series.