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Long overdue updates to my Contract Killer open-source contract

Today Microsoft announced that end of support is coming for older versions of Internet Explorer. This is great news for designers and developers who suffer from having to support legacy versions of that browser and it prompted me to update the public version of my Contract Killer, the popular open-source contract for web designers and developers.

Although some older versions will be supported on some platforms past January 12th 2016, this sends a very clear signal that customers can no longer expect that designers and developers will include support for, and test using, a myriad of older versions of Internet Explorer included in the price of a job. As the new Contract Killer explains:

We test our work in current versions of major desktop browsers including those made by Apple (Safari), Google (Chrome), Microsoft (Edge), Mozilla Firefox and Opera. We’ll also test to ensure that people who use Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 for Windows get an appropriate experience. We won’t test in other older browsers unless we agreed separately. If you need an enhanced design for an older browser, we can provide a separate estimate for that.

Other changes to Contract Killer

It’s been two years since my last public updates to Contract Killer. As well as the changes prompted by Microsoft, I’ve changed several other clauses:

In the “What do both parties agree to do?” section, I’ve clarified what it is that that we expect clients to provide us:

You’ll give us the assets and information we tell you we need to complete the project. You’ll do this when we ask and provide it in the formats we need.

I’ve brought the support and testing sections up-to-date, not just to reflect available browsers but also what Stuff & Nonsense offer to our clients. I know this will probably different for everyone.

We test our work in current versions of major desktop browsers including those made by Apple (Safari), Google (Chrome), Microsoft (Edge), Mozilla Firefox and Opera. We’ll also test to ensure that people who use Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 for Windows get an appropriate experience. We won’t test in other older browsers unless we agreed separately. If you need an enhanced design for an older browser, we can provide a separate estimate for that.

And

Testing using popular smaller screen devices is essential in ensuring that a person’s experience of a design is appropriate to the capabilities of the device they’re using. We test our designs in:

iOS 9: Safari, Google Chrome
Android: Google Chrome on Android Emulator

We won’t test in Blackberry, Opera Mini/Mobile, specific Android devices, Windows or other mobile browsers unless we agreed separately. If you need us to test using these, we can provide a separate estimate for that.

Anna Debenham suggested a search optimisation clause, so I’ve added one:

We don’t guarantee improvements to your website’s search engine ranking, but the web pages that we develop are accessible to search engines.

We now ask our clients to agree that we can publish the work that we’re making for them on our website before the project’s complete or a website goes live. A few months ago we updated our private contract to include that and now the public version reflects that too:

We love to show off our work, so we reserve the right to display all aspects of our creative work, including sketches, work-in-progress designs and the completed project on our portfolio and in articles on websites, in magazine articles and in books.

Finally in our payments section, I’ve added a clause that covers clients paying for international transfer fees and currency conversions so that the amount that we invoice is the amount that we get paid. We also now make it clear that late payments can be subject to interest at our discretion.

We issue invoices electronically. Our payment terms are [number] days from the date of invoice by BACS or the SWIFT international payments system. All proposals are quoted in [currency] and payments will be made at the equivalent conversion rate at the date the transfer is made.

You agree to pay all charges associated with international transfers of funds. The appropriate bank account details will be printed on our electronic invoice. We reserve the right to charge interest on all overdue debts at the rate of [percentage] per month or part of a month.

I think that this is a solid update. It certainly reflects our work a little better and I hope that the changes to browser support and testing help other people too. As always, please let me know what you think. Leave a comment here, on Github or on Twitter.


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