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24 May 2014 @ 04:52 pm
Fixed project cost vs hourly  
I'm looking for a web designer to improve my web site.
In particular, to make it mobile-friendly.
So I picked several pages and asked how much would it cost to convert them into "responsive UI" style (using Twitter's bootstrap).

He quoted me a number.
Then I struggled to understand and the designer struggled to explain what exactly that project would cover: what would be the deliverables, how would we know if it's done.
Then the designer said - I can simply charge hourly, and actually prefer it, because it's lower risk for me.
It turned out, that for me "hourly" option is also better, because paying fixed cost for the project is risky too, because the end result could be so-so. It's much better to cut the money bleeding at the beginning if project goes in the wrong direction.

That pretty much answers my decades long question on why hourly rate is the most popular option in software development contracting.
ex_juan_gan on May 24th, 2014 09:48 pm (UTC)
There's an intermediate solution. Split into stages, and pay per stage, with the condition that either side can pull out any moment.
Dennis Gorelikdennisgorelik on May 25th, 2014 02:41 am (UTC)
Pay per stage approach might be good if amount of work per stage is significantly larger, than discussions and negotiations about that stage.
That frequently happens with with building construction: talking and negotiating for 3 hours, building 3 weeks.

But with software development and web design, discussions and estimation of complexity is a very significant part of the whole amount of work needed.