Web Design can be a dreaded concept, or a magical realm of sales and customer retention. Defining which one you will receive depends equally on the design firm and your role as the client. Your role is to ensure you are receiving the best possible results from your web design firm.
Attentive clients not only keep their firms on course, they maintain the checks and balances system that works in both parties favor.
We can’t tell you how many times we have encountered prospective clients and clients who are unsure where to start with their website or what its purpose will be. So, to take the load off of marketers and business owners alike, we have developed a checklist that can make the web design process simpler.
Decide on Your ‘Why’
This is the #1 problem that clients face when they have decided to launch a website or solicit a redesign. Yes, the purpose of the site is to generate revenue. We get that, but why are you using a website to perform that task? The questions are easy, yet the answers can be different for each client. This is also the time that you roughly establish who your customers are and who your competition is.
It is important that you detail why you want the website to generate revenue. It helps your designer map out a website that works for your target audience, captures their attention and then holds it.
Here are a few examples of why our clients usually want a website or site design:
- To reach an audience outside of their area
- The website is dated
- Their website is not receiving the traffic that it has in previous years
- To provide another alternative to make purchases of products
- To tell their brand story and highlight their strengths
- It is a cheaper alternative than print ads
- It will act as a 24-hour portal to their business
- Improve credibility
And, the list goes on. As you can see, there are several reasons ‘why’ a website is important.
Research Potential Firms
A little research can help you to determine which web design firms are compatible with your companies industry and culture. For example, you would be unlikely to consider a web design firm that creates websites exclusively for veterinarians when your business is an upscale restaurant. Research can also help determine whether a firm is good at their job or not. Look for examples of their work as well as reviews. They can be very telling.
Define a Budget
It’s your money. That’s as good as any reason to ensure that you have defined what you are willing to spend on a website design or redesign. Don’t get sucked into extortion schemes by nefarious web design firms. Stand firm in your budget and be sure to discuss the budget with the company that you are considering hiring.
During your research process you should also be comparing web design pricing to establish a median pricing. Take into account factors such as Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. Also consider the size and functionality of your website. eCommerce sites and sites with several pages can be more costly than service-based websites.
Choose Your Web Design Firm
Your choice can greatly impact your website’s appearance, the flow of the product and the finished product. When choosing a firm be sure to cross all of your t’s and dot all of your i’s. Here’s how you do that:
- Ensure they meet your budgeting requirements
- Review their proposal for your business
- Discuss the proposal with them and provide valuable feedback
Actively Work with Your Web Design Firm
You should never have a hands-off approach to your website’s design. Talk with your Account Manager and/or Creative Director. They are not mind readers and will require some assistance in creating a website that you want. In most cases, these individuals welcome feedback throughout the process because it can lead to a better functioning website and can decrease the odds of you being dissatisfied with their work. Talk to them about these things to keep your project on track:
Is there a change in the delivery date?
Are you running into any issues?
May I see a test link to assess your progress?
Are their additional images that you need from me?
These questions are usually answered by the Web Design firm without your interference, but you may have to ask these questions from time to time for your peace of mind.
As a client your first priority should be a smooth design process. We understand that sometimes this can be overwhelming, that is why we have provided this handy downloadable Web Design Checklist. Now, you have access to the questions you need answered and the actions that need to be taken to ensure your website design, or redesign goes off without a hitch.
Download A DEFINITIVE WEB DESIGN CHECKLIST