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Another key here is breaking down the specs. If you're clear in your communication, you can get good work. But being 100% clear with exactly what you want the finished product to look like is critical.

I usually try to draw mockups to describe the work. I have a tabletPC so that helps. Also, for really technical stuff, I tried to put myself in his shoes and describe how I would approach the problem.

There is a fine line between clarifying and micromanaging though.

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