This past January, something interesting happened. I impulsively decided to sell a tiny product, moments before I almost decided to give it away for free. The product is simple. It's basically a stripped down version of a client project, that shows my process behind organizing wireframes using Illustrator and InDesign. It's a few
.ai files and an
.indd file all packaged up nicely.
I didn't particularly think that this was a novel idea, but nearly everyone whom I mentioned my technique to was intrigued. I decided to write about my process for organizing a presenting wireframes and to my surprise, it gained a lot of traction.
You can see in the image above that there was quite a jump in traffic on my site and people started buying that little product that I was just about to give away for free.
To this day, May 26 2014, there have been 272 sales for a total of $731.17. I charged $2 (or greater thanks to a cool gumroad feature) and there were quite a few folks who valued the product higher and paid $5, $10, and even $15 for this little kit.
When I published the product, I knew it was worth way more than $2, but after pondering a price for a few minutes, I settle on $2 because it just felt like a good starting point for something like this.
The product is the sum of many hours (years) of experience, design, thinking, and technical layout all balled into one. To recreate the same template from scratch would easily take a day or two (possibly more) if you didn't have a good starting point or vision of what you wanted.
An average rate of $100/hr multiplied by 1-2 days equals $800-$1,600. Even at a rate of $50/hr, you'd spend $400-$800 of potential billable hours designing it for yourself, even if you were fully capable of doing the work. This is why people paid more for the product. They understood the time it saved them and the value it provided.
Even More Traffic
Another blog post I wrote, "Understanding Vector Shapes in Illustrator," got a huge traffic hit very quickly after I published it.
I wrote the article to teach some of the basics of Illustrator, since I believe it's an under-utilized tool for wireframing and ui design. In fact, I've come across many talented designers and developers who know very little about the mysterious inner-workings of the vector editing beast that is Adobe Illustrator.
I consider myself extremely proficient in Photoshop, but I can get some serious speed going in Adobe Illustrator, allowing me to focus my thoughts on the designs much more so than the software itself. It feels natural to share the process that makes me extremely efficient.
After traffic picked up again, it got me thinking seriously about the potential to release more Illustrator blog posts, tutorials, kits, and more. So that's what I'm going to do.
Now that I know that people respond well to my posts about Illustrator, as proved by my traffic reports, I'm going to start digging in deeper.
Expect more detailed posts from me on using Illustrator from a technical standpoint as well as the why behind design decisions for various applications.
So for my new thing, I just bit the bullet and ordered $300 worth of audio recording equipment to start creating high quality Illustrator tutorial videos. I'm planning to package and release products on a much larger scale comprised of wireframe kits as well as how to videos of the techniques and thinking behind the designs.
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