9 Tips for Working With Your Web Designer
SO you have managed to navigate the minefield of selecting a good web designer (see
the previous blog) and now you need to know how to work with them. In this
article we will discuss how to make the most of your new business relationship and what to expect further down the road.
It’s imperative that you start the project on the right foot, after
all, first impressions last a lifetime. The complex venture with your web designer can be a rewarding and enriching experience, providing you
put in some effort and time. Making sure you are both on the same page throughout your project will ensure compatibility and productivity.
Here are some of the major pointers to help you make the very most of your working experience together:
1. Do your homework
Don’t simply click on the first web
design company on google. Just because they are at the top of Google,
doesn’t mean that they are the best or even the right one for your
project. Web design companies often pay to be at the top of google, some
don’t even speak English as their first language and this can lead to
an unmanageable breakdown in communication. You may also select a large
design agency, charging astronomical amounts for designers, account
handlers and other overheads. This is largely unnecessary as you will
quickly find a smaller company with just as much experience and skills
for less than a quarter of the price.
2. Don’t assume that creating a website is an “easy job”.
As a web designer
I can tell you this raises a communication barrier from the outset. The
process may seem simple in your eyes, but that may be down to the fact
that your web designer has spared you the technicalities and endless
troubleshooting in previous projects. Stating that “you would do it
yourself but don’t have time” or “it won’t take long” are both very
demeaning and are also not going to bring the price down. If I told you I
could do your job as well as you without years of training and
experience, how would you feel about that?
You may have had some experience with online site builders and DIY options
(see this blog to explain why this is more than likely, the worst idea
you ever had), but the fact that you are now hiring a website designer
shows you that things aren’t as simple as they seem. The amount of work
that goes on behind the scenes on these builders is 90% of what you are
paying a web designer to do, only they are doing it properly for you.
Leave it to your designer to explain the difficulty or how long the job
will take, don’t rush them into providing a less than perfect service.
It should be clear from their online portfolio examples that they are
capable of competing your project to an adequate standard.
What may seem like a simple change to
your website could equal hours of troubleshooting and support tickets
for your web designer.
3. Keep Your End of the Bargain
You will be required to supply the web
designer with content for your website. Bear in mind that if the
designer doesn’t have what they need when they need it, your project
will come to a halt. They will then move on to another project and yours
will be shelved until you supply the information discussed in your
original brief or meeting. To avoid any delays to your project’s
completion date, it would be best practice to supply everything your
designer needs up front. This would include and text, images, co tact
information and design options. If your pictures need to be purchased,
this would also be completed at an early stage.
If your web designer has provided an initial web design project questionnaire
(ours is linked here) then this will help to start the project n the
right foot. This should inform the web designer as to everything that
you have envisioned for the project. The more information you provide,
the more scope the designer will have to full fill your expectations.
At Dreamkatcha we offer a project discount if you can provide everything required for the project upfront.
4. Be patient with your web designer
From a clients point of view, you will
want your project completed yesterday. You won’t be the first and you
won’t be the last. But putting the pressure on your designer to finish
the website sooner than they are used to could result in a substandard
project…and you will be the cause. If you really need your project
completed in a short amount of time then get it under the nose of your
designer as soon as you can. This will give them the best chance of
completing on time. If you can get everything ready as soon as you
decide to initiate the project, then you will help the process
exponentially. Quality work doen’t come overnight, it takes time to
design, develop and test each section of your website.
5. Get involved from beginning to end.
Now let me be clear…I don’t mean help
design your website, I mean stay close to the project and respond to
emails as soon as you can. Also provide your comments as an when they
A good practice is to discuss each stage
of the process so that you are both on the same page throughout the
project. This will speed up productivity and also help you keep any
deadlines discussed, on time. If one of you isn’t regularly contacting
the other with feedback, the project can go off the rails and
getting it back to where it should be will take extra time.
You will get out, what you put in when it comes to graphic and web
design projects. After all it is a collaboration between you and the
designer, you want to see something special at the end of the day.
6. Don’t Ask Family & Friends what they think of the designs if they have no reference
Throughout the project, your web
designer should send you samples and examples if the work he is
performing for you. From image selection to layouts, fonts and pretty
much every design suggestion. It will be tempting to then show your
friends, family and colleagues and get their opinions. After all, more
views will always equal a better analysis right? Wrong! Unless the
people you are showing the designs to is your specific target audience,
or they have experience if fields such as marketing (or something
relevant), then this can usually strain your client-web designer
relationship. There is often no objective criteria to support the
opinions you receive from friends and family and can end up confusing
not only your designer but you as well!
7. Don’t Overcomplicate things
Don’t become a web designer or graphic
designer, thinking this will help the project. Remember you have
employed a designer because you lack the skills or expertise to carry
out the project yourself. Everybody want to see some of their
suggestions in the final project, but make sure they are only
suggestions. Your designer will decide if these suggestions are going to
work or not, many factors may b at hand that yo don’t understand. Only
your designer will understand the entire implications of your
suggestions and this is just down to experience. Bear in mind that what
you had in mind at the beginning of the project either may not work due
to unknown contributing factors, or their is simply a better idea that
your designer will know.
8. Don’t Micromanage Your Web Designer
To ensure a productive and enjoyable
experience for both the web designer and the client, it is important
that each of you stick to your respective roles.
As a new business owner or entrepreneur,
it is your job to communicate your requirements clearly to your website
designer. It’s the job of the web designer to come up with a complete
solution that satisfies your initial brief. An example where clients
regularly overstep the mark would be where they think the colour pallet
is too bland for their particular brand. This is actually a good and
constructive contribution, however when they start to offer specific
design modifications without the assistance f a trained eye, this can
leave the entire design floored. The problem with this level of
interaction leaves your designer in the dark as to what the bigger
picture is and may interfere with the overall picture envisioned by the
designer. Asking for a solution draws on their skill set and experience,
where they will probably be able to suggest a better solution.
9. Be decisive
When you receive a set of designs to
look over, be strict and decide upfront what you like and don’t like.
Being wishey-washey at this point can be costly and waste voluble time.
What may seem like a simple cold change to you down the road could spell
disaster for your web designer, taking hours or even days of
unnecessary work. Don’t keep asking for multiple designs as this will
lead to a stained working relationship. After the first couple of
designs you should be able to give your designer clear instructions
where to go next so that any modifications after this will be minimal.
Bear in mind I am referring to logo designs of info graphics, not
websites! You should only expect one website design based on your brief,
extending this process has been prven to be confusing and unnecessary.
After you have decided on the right web
designer, work hard to establish a good working relationship from the
outset. Make sure you are clear and informative, provide all information
in a timely manor and stey in touch at every stage of the project
You have picked this designer from a
long list of others, o have faith that they can provide you with a first
class service. You will have seen from their online portfolio that they
are fully capable, so give them some space for creativity and don’t
rush them. Buy responding to emails and phone calls as soon as possible
and providing feedback and any necessary files will go a long way to a
successful process and achieving your deadline.
Contact Dreamkatcha today to discuss a web design or logo design project.