Having access to a quality web designer is an integral part of your business. Many business owners see working with a web designer as a one-time thing, but the reality is your web designer is a member of your team. They need to understand your business and any new developments to update your site regularly. To get the most out of your relationship with your web designer, check out these four secrets.
- Understand Their Job
The most important first step to working with web designers is to really understand what they are doing. There are essentially five considerations of a website that web designers will work around during the graphic design process, these are:
- Overall Aesthetic
Each of these components breaks down into dozens of individual little tasks that are intricate and time-consuming. In your mind, it shouldn’t take longer than a few hours to implement a certain element, but in reality it could take your web designer days to complete. Keep this in mind when you are setting your expectations for time frames. They need to be realistic. There is a lot of specialized skill and knowledge that goes into your design and it takes time. Set up a realistic timeline from the outset and allow plenty of time for edits.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
If you want to know more about their process or their opinion on the direction your website’s design or functionality should take- don’t be afraid to ask questions. You can also ask why they chose a certain element and, if you still don’t like it, ask them to change it. You are paying for their service and you should feel comfortable clarifying their rationale behind it or asking them to change aspects you’re not sure about.
At the same time, you don’t want to be too controlling. You need to allow some breathing room for the web designer to let the creative juices flow. Micromanaging will just slow down the process and cause an end product you and your audience will not be happy with. If you start to feel like you need to micromanage everything, it is time to take a step back from the project, outline specifically what you want to see, and come back to the designer.
- Be Specific
When you are specific about what you want to see and who your business is upfront, you will most likely not get into the situation listed in the above example. You start this by providing examples of websites that you like. Start with websites in your industry and venture out from there to find examples of aesthetics you love. Showing them your visual tastes will give them a great starting point for their design work.
Next, go back to the components mentioned above (color, fonts, images, layout, and overall aesthetic). Break down your web design vision in these components to better communicate what specific elements you want with your web designer.
Finally, when it is time to give feedback, be extremely specific. Don’t use buzzwords or give criticism like, “I don’t like the colors.” Give specific examples or descriptions of what you like and don’t like and your ideas on how to change it. While you still want to allow your web designer creative freedom, they need some feedback to pinpoint what you don’t like and to get the design to a place where you are both happy.
- Realise Perfection Doesn’t Exist
Let’s face it – perfection doesn’t exist. It is unrealistic to expect it from your web designer. Use the above tips to establish open and effective communication and get your website design to a place where you are happy and proud to have it as the representative of your company. The most important thing is that your website engages, navigates easily, and converts.
If you find yourself trying to achieve perfection, it is time to take a step back from the project and look at the website from the point of view of your audience. If you still can’t get it exactly right, move on. If you have established a working relationship with your web designer, you can come back to that element that bothers you for revision in the future. Give your input on the first draft of a huge revision and from there build constructive criticism, but also knowing when to stop.
Following these suggestions will help you establish a solid relationship with your web designer. You can continue collaborating and growing your brand online with this designer once you have established a solid foundation on which to build a productive working relationship.