Getting the Most from your Web Designer
15th Sep 2014
For most businesses these days, a good website is the most effective marketing tool that they have. It’s usually the first point of call for customers wanting information on products and services as well as contact details. The most effective websites will do a good job in selling you a lifestyle, a dream and make their business incredibly desirable to the user.
That’s why it is so important to choose the right design agency for you and to create the right website for your business. It can be a huge step for a company to buy into creating a website, and often it can be an even bigger step for a company to decide to have a redesign of an existing site. To get the very best from your web design project and gain the most efficient results, we’ve put together a few tips:
Websites come in at all shapes and sizes and as a general rule, and not surprisingly we advise to spend as much as you can afford. A website costing £500 will not do the same job as a website costing £3k. The larger and more established the agency the slightly higher price tag you might expect. However – working with a more experienced agency you’ll benefit from working with multidisciplinary team and get a full package, which might include hosting, design, development, training and continuing support not to mention an overall effective and smooth project process. Work out a realistic budget and include some flexibility for amendments and additions along the process.
Write a brief
Sounds obvious, but before you contact any agencies, make sure that you know what it is that you are aiming for. Writing a brief and having a clear idea of what you are hoping to achieve will make choosing the right agency easier. It will also give the agency a better chance of providing an accurate quote.
What do you want the website to do? Seems a daft question but it’s one that you need to ask yourself and an answer that you need to convey to your designer. You need your designer to want the same as you and to be on the same wave-length from the very beginning. Do you want your site to be mobile-friendly? Do you want it to be top of Google? Do you want your site to be easy to amend later?
In preparing a quote for you, an agency will need to know as much as possible about the work that they are going to carry out for you. Features that might seem like small additions to you, might be more time-consuming than you think and omitting details might end up delaying the project finish and might start incurring additional fees that you haven’t budgeted for.
Do your research
There are so many freelancers and agencies out there all hoping to work on your project. Do yourself a favour and look around for the one that will work best for you. Look at other sites and don’t be afraid to get in touch with them to ask about the agencies that they employed. Look at web design portfolios and make sure that the agency that you make your enquiries to can actually do the work that you are hoping for.
Prepare your content
On deciding who you are going to work with and paying your initial deposit, it would be in your best interest to get all of your content over to the designer as soon as possible. Having all of the text and images and videos ready means that the designer can get a better idea of how the site should look and means that the designer doesn’t lose enthusiasm later down the line when waiting for information to come through.
Provide a deadline
If you are working towards a specific launch date, let your designer know. Even if your desired launch date isn’t too important, it’s good to give yourself and your designer a time limit. Designers love deadlines and thrive on the pressure of working towards a launch. It also means that the agency can plan their time and make sure that they give you the hours each day that your project requires. Having a project that drags on means that the designer will no doubt take on several jobs at the same time and they won’t be dedicating all of their attention to your site. As a designer, it’s very easy to become demotivated by a project that seems to go on and on. Having your designer throwing enthusiasm and dedication to a project will undoubtedly get you better results.
One of the most frustrating things for a web designer is lack of feedback from the client. Not getting feedback in a timely manner means the designer might need to move onto other projects to fill the time and can delay projects. So be as clear and concise as possible when providing feedback or when asking for amends. Don’t be vague and avoid saying you’re not sure about something. Tell your designer specifically what you don’t like and how you would like it to be changed. A lot of agencies will ask straight up who in your business has the final say on the project. Too often, the project manager will give the thumbs-up to the designs, only for the director to step in further down the line and decide that the website isn’t working for them. This can be a huge back-step for the designer and could leave them resenting the project. They want to be sure the feedback they receive is from the key decision maker on the project.
By taking these useful guidelines into consideration before you get in touch with a prospective web designer, you’ll be giving your project the very best opportunity to develop into the site you were hoping for.