Working with a web designer to launch a new site is exciting. However, if you’re not careful, the brilliant new site you envisage can be very different to what the web designer actually creates. Instead of being the proud owner of a fabulous new site, ending up with something you’re too ashamed to put your name happens all too often. So here are three fundamentals you should know about working with web designers to get what you really, really want.
Source the Right Designer
Before you start work with a designer, you need to be sure they’re right for you. Every designer has a different style and approach, so take a look at their portfolio to see if you like what they do. Check how easy their sites are to navigate, whether they integrate social media, whether the page design is consistent, how easy buying processes are and so on.
You should also consider their technical competence. Do the pages of their sites load sufficiently quickly? Do they create sites optimised for mobile users? What type of CMS system do they use? For sites that both look good and work well, you should ideally, use a company who incorporate web design with development, such as http://www.wysi.co.uk/.
Discuss Design in Detail
Poorly designed sites are the turkeys of the web world. But a designer needs your input to create what you want especially if you have a clear vision in your head of what your website should look like. Communication is key, and the majority of websites fail through lack of clarity, so take the time to give the designer as much information as possible.
Tell them what you want the site to do and find examples of sites you like to help them deliver what you want. However, although you need to give your designer clear instructions you will also need to understand and accept any technical limitations within what you want. Once you have fully briefed your designer, they should create a ‘mock up’ which allows you to tell if they’re on the right lines.
Don’t feel you have to spare their feelings, as it’s more helpful to them to be honest. If it’s not right, tell them what you feel is wrong and explain what it is you want again if in doubt.
Although visitors are immediately attracted by design, it’s the content that actually encourages them to buy. If you want to avoid the trap of having lots of visitors but not enough buyers, then your content needs to work hard for you, and approaching a designer with existing copy for them to add to the site can give them plenty of clues about how best to design it.
If you don’t have any content, hire a copywriter, or ask your web designer if they have an in-house copywriter able to create content optimised for SEO and conversions. You should also supply them with any existing photos or branding you want to use.
By Harry Price
Harry Price is a freelance writer, personal trainer and an incredible adventure seeker. When he’s not working, he is often volunteering at his local charities.