Dave Smyth Studio

How I Work

Good to know


I am designer who codes and typically take on end-to-end design and development projects.

As standard, the websites I produce are bespoke and tailored to you. They’re fast, clear, inclusive, privacy-respecting and low carbon by default.

I can help with strategy, UX and UI design, development, user experience and brand refinement. Over the years, I’ve developed an extensive network of expert partners who can provide additional services.

Working together

Most of my work is project-based, but I’m available for design and development retainers, too. Retainers are based on guaranteeing an agreed number of days per month. I don’t oversell my time.

While we’re working on a project, I recommend we book a regular meeting to help keep things moving. This is usually weekly – especially during the design phase of a project – but we can agree the cadence to suit. For support retainers, these meetings may be more occasional – perhaps every quarter.

I give clients plenty of opportunity to review and feedback on my work. Almost all design work is presented through video to talk you through the thinking and decisions. I regularly hear from clients that this format is incredibly useful. You will also be given access to software to drop comments directly onto designs.

Estimates + Rates

Estimating projects is always a challenge. We’ll likely have a clear idea of a project’s goals early in our discussions, but there are invariably unknowns and our understanding of the best solutions will evolve as we work.

With this in mind, I usually quote estimates based on a day rate rather than a fixed price. Adopting this flexible approach lets us focus on delivering the most appropriate solution as we discover more.

If a fixed quote is a requirement, I will recommend a short discovery project (1–5 days). The result of this will be a fixed scope at a fixed cost.

My day rates are based on a 6-hour work day and I only bill for the time worked.

Projects for social good may be eligible for a discounted rate.


In many cases, I recommend using Statamic as the content management system to power your site. I’m a Statamic Partner and helped redesign the Statamic 3 documentation site.

We can use a different CMS if that’s a better fit for the project, and can recommend developers where appropriate.

If you already have a developer, I’m happy to offer design-only services and collaborate with them.

As a general rule, I don’t take on development-only work.


Over the years, I’ve developed an extensive network of expert partners who can provide additional services. Typically this might include copywriters, developers and illustrators, but it depends on the project.

Let’s chat

If you would like to discuss a project or have any questions, feel free to get in touch.