This site is being torn down to make way for a new project.
All my future bloggy goodness can be found at my brand new web design blogPosted in Articles | Leave a comment 6 July , 2012
A short round-up of my top tips for you (the client) to get the best results from your next website. Your next web designer could even be me, but I won’t hold it against you if I’m not. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to achieving a harmonious working-relationship with your designer, and also a fantastic new website! Anyway, on with the list:
If all you ask of from your designer is
a website then that is all you can expect to receive, a generic collection of webpages which impart little to the visitor and you certainly won’t end up with an experience which is tailored to your goals. If you know what you want the website to achieve (to sell a product, build a community of followers) then your designer will know how to make a site which will achieve these goals
Your company website is not just an accessory. When used effectively, your website can be one of the greatest weapons in your marketing arsenal. I cannot stress enough how important it is to decide, first and foremost, what you want to achieve by having a website.
If even you don’t know what you want, you can’t expect your designer to know either.
If you want your website to do something, anything at all, just ask. Your web designer knows better than you what can, and can’t, be done. Don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you want, because if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Sometimes the best ideas arise this way. Forget the limitations and imagine what would be the best possible outcome. In a worst case scenario (namely that what you want is impossible) a clever designer can scale this back to the best workable alternative.
Long story short: aim for the stars and you might just hit the moon.
Unless the designer you hired is only working for you, s/he has other clients too. If they have 2 clients: one who calls regularly to check progress; and another who doesn’t contact them at all. Which client do you think is going to receive the quickest/best service?
Be demanding and even the most work-shy designer will be knocking your socks off with regular updates and fantastic designs.
There’s few sentences I dread hearing from my clients, but they all appear to take this form:
Can you just…? as in
Can you just add in this new feature that I forgot to mention? or
Can you just change the whole layout?.
These usually take the form of seemingly small changes – the impact on the project, however, is often great. Most of the time, involves delving back into parts of the site that are finished and forcing these new elements into a place they weren’t originally intended to go. Not only can this be time consuming (and therefore costly from the client’s point of view), but it also negates the value of a lot of the preparation that went into ensuring that the elements on the page interact harmoniously
By deciding everything up front, you’ll not only keep your designer from pulling his hair out, but you’ll also ensure that everything about the design meshes. The best designs are ones where everything has been taken into account.
This has to be by far my most important piece of advice. Many clients are under the impression that they’re intruding if they try to get involved with the creative process. This simply isn’t the case because, unless your designer is psychic, s/he won’t know your business as well as you. Learn to work alongside your designer, while keeping all the other tips in mind, and you’ll achieve the best possible result.
This is why I routinely give my clients a design schedule including
contact points which are times when their input is not only welcome, but necessary before I’ll move on to the next design phase. This ensures that everyone is happy before we move on to the next stage.
No designer likes to build without any direction at all. Communication is key here, talk to your designer regularly and involve yourself in all of the big decisions – how else will your designer know if he’s on the right track?
There are many more bits of advice I could give to you as a client, but these are certainly my main points. Hopefully you can use this advice on your next website and become more proactive – you really will get better results.
Remember that nobody knows your business as well as you, and that knowledge is invaluable to your web designer. Make it your aim to help your designer understand everything about your business, and s/he will be able to let the world know too!Posted in Articles | Leave a comment 21 June , 2012
A quick introduction to barebones WordPress themes and why you should be using them if you need to make a custom WordPress theme Continue reading →Posted in Wordpress | Tagged barebones, guide, themes, wordpress | 1 Comment 19 June , 2012
‘Keep It Simple, Stupid!’ is perhaps the most repeated mantra in web design. But how can doing less, better, improve your website? Continue reading →Posted in Articles | 2 Comments