I rolled up my sleeves and started plugging away on the subscription idea I shared in yesterday’s entry. I originally called it maggi.io since I owned that domain already, but then started thinking no one is going to find that. Plus, they’ll probably leave out the extra “i”. So for now, and from here on it’s going to be called uxscription.
I’m not sure whether it’s a play on subscription or prescription. I guess it doesn’t matter. The word looks right and that’s important for a product and brand name. You see it, and you have some idea of what it could be.
Just to be safe, I also bought the following domains; uxdesignshop.com, experiencedesignshop.com, and designscription.com. The basic concept is you can get in-demand services when you need them.
There are several other agencies out there with new business models where they market themselves as virtual companies. There’s Superside and Designity. I had some experience with the former, and it they weren’t great to deal with. The other just seems like the same thing.
So what is UXScription and what is it not? Let’s start with the tag line. I came up with “in-demand user experience design services.” I have been in the product and UX space for 30 years and I have seen patterns in the requests people make and the needs organizations have.
We are here to show you what you should do not just do what you’re asking us.
In-Demand vs On-Demand
Think about Netflix and all the other streaming services available. Sure, it sounds great that we can watch anything we want anytime. So what do we do? We end up browsing for three hours and land on Seinfeld reruns.
But when someone we trust tells us what we should watch, we go right to it, click play and we’re done.
In-Demand talent is our model. I’m a known quantity. My business is word of mouth. I’m not fungible.
I’m like a doctor, I can diagnose the problem and treatment pretty quickly, because I have seen how a lot of these things have played out before.
Other design firms with this upfront model remind me of Kinko’s (now FedEx office). They can do anything you ask for; business cards, posters, apps, etc. We have computers, software, and printers, isn’t that all you need to make that stuff? Kinko’s exists for people who don’t know shit about those things and for those who do. For the latter, there’s often a penalty for knowing too much.
All these other people know how to do things. What you need is someone who knows what needs to be done and why. Even better those who know what doesn’t need to be done and what you can get away with skipping.
The Order in Which You Do Things Matters
There is an element of being able to walk before you run. That’s why we have some packaged solutions. For example, standing up a WordPress site is pretty easy. You can go to WordPress.com and with a couple clicks, you have a website. It isn’t until much later you realize it wasn’t what you needed, or you needed so much more. The price of entry is cheap, but the cost of learning by doing is expensive – especially when you have other things to do.
I have personally set up at least 100 WordPress sites, and have customized the shit out of them over and over. WordPress isn’t the only CMS I’ve set up either. But in 90% of the cases, it will do.
Let’s Not Overthink Some Things
Follow the 80/20 rule or whatever maxim you like, not everything needs to be an innovation. Some stuff is foundational and fundamental. Sure, it could be perfect, but that’s not the part that needs perfection. Save your power for the things that will really matter. That’s why the UXScription website is organized around the business scenarios that lead people to seek help versus people looking for solutions.
Value is Never Expensive
Our pricing is based on the value we deliver. But that depends on what you value most in the moment. Is it time, execution or budget? We all want what we can’t have. Those three dimensions are in opposition to each other. Someone that promises that is either lying or lucky.
Back to the WordPress instance example. $1200 sounds like a lot for something anyone could do. But if you read what you get in that solution, and know exactly what it means, then by all means you should be doing it yourself. I’m not here to do your job. I’m here to do the things you cannot do.
Focusing too much on the cost and time ratio of work turns the endeavor into a linear transaction. Getting the most work for the least amount of money because the goal.
No one wants your problem solved more than me.
Transparency Shouldn’t be in the Pricing
Who cares if the pricing is transparent. Too high or too low is the wrong thing to be worried about when asking for outside help. The transparency is in the work we do. Being transparent about the price just encourages people to outsource the work to cheaper and cheaper workers. Sure, you know how much you’re paying, but you don’t know shit about who’s doing the work.
By the time some people have realized they need to get outside help, they’ve already burned up time. It’s the deadline that’s driving their decision more than anything else. What they need is someone who has seen this kind of thing before, not someone who’s going to talk to them about process. In most cases, they’ve already glommed onto a solution and just need someone who knows how to execute it. This is pretty common among new businesses and startups. For this use case, it’s get someone in, that just knows what they’re doing.