What is a product design contract?
If you work as a product designer, the chances are that you will also be good at negotiating deals and drafting your contracts. There’s no getting around it; if you want to protect yourself and your product in any project, you had better learn to understand and even craft a product design contract template. But it's not as difficult as it sounds because there are many online resources and platforms to help you create a solid contract.
There are plenty of contract templates on Bonsai's platform how-to guides to write design contracts. This article is an overview of the factors to consider and sections that must be included in a typical product design contract template.
What should be included in a product design contract template?
Creating and signing a contract is the only sure way to protect your interests in a product design job. But one might ask if it is always a good decision to take this precaution. Well, yes, but you should avoid bringing in a lawyer, except you are creating a product design contract template for a corporate client, which requires you to set some extremely complex licensing terms.
Otherwise, employ simple contracts with varying lengths like a longer and more comprehensive agreement for more in-depth projects and less formal agreements for quicker ones. Beyond that, you may consider the law of human decency to create and use a product design contract template.
2. How many product design contract templates do you actually need?
Drafting contracts can be challenging, so it's tempting for designers to craft one catch-all template for all the projects they undertake. Even though that may work for some projects, it is not always advisable if you handle a plethora of product design jobs for clients with different product design considerations.
What are the essentials of a product design contract?
A contract doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does need to cover the relevant basics. We are not talking about the clauses here, but the actual format and sections the agreement must include. Here are vital info to cover when drafting your product design contract template.
3.1. Services in the product design contract template
The agreement should highlight the services that will be provided and define the project's scope. All files, design, and prototypes shall be delivered in accordance with the delivery scheduled in the agreement.
3.2. Payment in the product design contract template
The product design contract template should include the billing policy and the payment due date. It is a diplomatic way of requesting and getting paid on time by freelancers. Payment terms and conditions are vital to the validity of the agreement.
3.3. Modification & termination in the product design contract template
The product design contract should state that the project's pricing is attached to the scope of work, and changes in scope may lead to additional cost to the client. Also, a good contract must highlight the conditions for termination of the agreement.
3.4. Project completion in the product design contract template
Projects are time-bound hence the need to include a time-frame in the product design contract. You may want to add necessary clauses that authorize a party to claim damages for delays in the project.
3.5. Indemnification in the product design contract template
This part of the document is where you ensure the client agrees to hold you harmless against all claims of loss or damages without limitation except in the cases of willful misconduct or gross negligence.