In a previous blog post, “Tales From the Crypt” You learned all about the different problems and miscommunications that can arise when embarking on a website design or re-design process. In this post, I will give you some advice from the designer’s point of view, of some of the things you should discuss with the person you hire before you begin the project implementation.
Needless to say, communication is key. Here are 5 things to discuss with your designer before embarking on the project:
Web development vs. graphic design
A lot of people actually have merged these two roles mistakenly. Some web developers only do development work and ask for all graphics to be provided before they begin working while some graphic designers, know very little about web development. Make sure you know if the person you are hiring handles both roles and that the quality of their graphics meets your standards. If not, you need to adequately prepare to purchase images, or hire a graphic designer.
Approach your designer with a plan
One mistake that I have seen over and over again is clients who approach a web designer with the expectation that the web designer will do everything including the creation of the menu titles and site structure. However, the reality is you need to have an idea of how you want the content to be structured in your website. Come prepare with a full site map, and be ready to provide content for each of those pages. A lot of designers may for an extra charge help you through the process of creating your site map and organization, however, no one knows your business as well as you do so it is in your best interest to be an active participant.
Separate design from business success
A lot of website designers and developers only design and develop with little regard for user interface and specific practices that are important to acquire more traffic and leads. Before you hire a designer. Ask them about how they structure their designs to improve leads and increase conversions.
Mistakes from the past will continue to haunt you
If you are embarking on a re-design chances are there are problems with your current design. Sometimes those problems are not visible to the eye and can only be found when you take a look under the hood at Google analytics or other similar platforms. Make sure these issues do not carry over. Discuss this with your designer and let them know this is a part of the service that you expect. Many of these mistakes can be easily remedied with 301 redirects and the elimination of old folders that are no longer in use.
Something to consider is making sure that your designer acknowledges some sense of responsibility for their work. If after a month of your site being live you discover that google is no loner picking up your pages or that there are 300 new Not Found errors and server issues that are hurting your traffic, you want to make sure you can call your designer without having to pay more money. So make sure you establish this as a criteria so that you do not have to pay someone twice for the same job. The designer is fully responsible for a working product and if your website is invisible to Google, it is NOT a working product.
Armed with these 5 tools, you can now approach your designer with a little more confidence when it comes to the re-design of your website.
If you are still feeling a little confused and need help contact me now for a free consultation.