Things Your Designer Should Do Well
Sep 20, 2011
You’re probably here because you’re looking for someone to design your website. Having rescued a number of projects for clients in the past, I can say that it’ll be far less of a headache if you choose the right designer before you start. Here is a short guide to what, in my opinion, are mandatory skills that your designer should have.
1. Designs great websites
This seems like common sense, but given the incredible number of hideous websites, it seems apparent that not everyone
who makes websites makes them look good too. Take a look at each potential designer’s portfolio. If most of the portfolio looks terrible, but one piece looks incredible, don’t expect your site to turn out like that one exception. Find a designer that has the style that you want and make sure that their style is consistent. If you ask for sample works and they can’t provide you with any, you’ll be paying them to learn on the job, which is the last thing you want your professional to be doing.
2. Provides accurate pricing
Most professional designers, whether they operate hourly or via fixed quotes, can give you an accurate price for your project. Make it very clear to your designer what you need from your website. At the same time, make sure
they are clear on what you are getting for your money. Many designers have payment plans designed to be due as different phases of work are completed.
3. Has the skills to complete the project
Make sure that your designer understands the needs of the project, and make sure they are capable of delivering the features you need. If they seem unsure about or provide resistance without adequate reason to any part of the project, they may not know how to complete it. If your project requires custom features or development, make sure your designer is confident that they can deliver. If they are hesitant, you may want to look for someone with more substantial experience.
4. Inspires confidence
Expertise comes in a lot of forms. In our field, diplomas aren’t as important as a solid portfolio or a strong sense of design. Your designer should be able to critique other works and explain why alternatives would look better. While your designer will be taking your concept for the website, you should be able to trust their input and choices. If you are unsure about what looks best, your designer should be able to explain why they prefer one option over the other. While you may not want your designer to come up with anything they please, micro-managing can quickly turn a nice site into a mix of conflicting concepts. Make sure you have a designer that listens to your input but gives strong feedback as well.
5. Communicates with you
Communication is crucial. In fact, it relates to all of the above points. If your designer cannot communicate clearly, then you’re in for a tough time. If it takes a week to get in touch with your designer, that’s not a good start. You’re paying for a professional service, they should act like a professional. Make sure
there is a clearly defined time frame for your project. While unexpected delays can occur, clear communication about the situation takes stress off of everyone involved and keeps things running smoothly.