Web designer talking with a client

Choosing a Web Designer

If you are at all like me, you have a tendency to search for information and often get inundated with the many options available. For example, when I want to get a new vehicle, I begin with the size, then I work to reviews, visiting dealers, and putting up with pushy sales persons before I decide on the make, model, and package. All that work takes time. It also requires that I make an effort to think through decisions before I visit a dealership. The same is true when choosing a web designer.

You do a web search, and you immediately get a list of potentials. The list goes on and on and on… So, you take some time to read through some of those listings. You might narrow your search to those nearby. You may spend time asking friends, family, and coworkers. Just like my car buying experience, you will end up with lots of information. But, did you find any indicators that helped you make a decision?

Absolute must have characteristics

There are a few essential web designer characteristics that are a must-have. These could be a deal breaker for you and your website if the person or company you choose does not have the stuff that really matters. Let’s look at the 3 C’s for choosing a web designer.

Client focused

Your web designer should focus on you, the client. Also, the designer should focus on your clients! Your website is there to draw new clients and to support your existing customers. A great web designer will take the time to understand your target audience and to get to know you. These two facets of the project are critical, so the design and web presence are tailored to meet specific needs. You have a particular niche and a targeted audience. The web designer will ask questions about those aspects to learn.

Communication

Your web designer should communicate with you. The conversation will happen by email, phone, instant messaging…however you and the designer set up communication. There is no reason you should be left in the dark about the progress of your new website. Your dialogue should include learning about your business and your clientele. The designer needs to know these things to better support you. There should also be an outline of actions and deliverables. Good communication is necessary from your designer and by yourself.

Collaboration

Your web designer should work with you and include you in the process. Yes, you hired the designer to create a website for you. However, it is your website, and you should be able to have input on the design and content. In fact, you must take on those roles. The designer cannot magically create your content and does not know your audience as you do. Both you and your designer need to work together, which fosters creativity. Keep in mind, though, that you did hire a web designer since you do not have the required web skills. Let the designer user her/his skills and knowledge. At the same time, the web designer should rely on your knowledge and skills about your work, industry, and target audience. Each of you has strengths that contribute to the success of the project.

Other good traits

Now that you have an understanding of the absolute characteristics of a great web designer, other dynamics will be involved. You should also consider these traits when choosing a web designer for your project.

  • Project focus. A good designer will be able to stay focused on you, your needs, your goals, and the project. Remember that communication, collaboration, and client-focused are must haves? The 3 C’s are part of the project focus and will be a guide to keep you and your designer on track with your project.
  • No cookie cutters. A big difference between a designer and a great designer is the ability to go beyond the template or cookie cutter mentality. Every web page does have basics. However, special attention to the details makes each project unique. With your help, your designer will be able to create a design that is made just for you specifically. The 3 C’s will help drive this creativity.
  • Copywriting. A website is a mix of images, colors, fonts, and copy. The words on the page should guide visitors down the page. The layout of text should also lead readers into more depth about your business. Your designer will be able to marry words, images, and other elements when creating your unique website. You designer, though, will likely rely on you to provide the groundwork. Again, it is through collaboration that you bring your knowledge about the industry and your target audience. Through communication and supporting each other, your designer will be better able to assist you, the client.

Ready to choose your web designer?

The 3 C’s of a great web designer are at the core of what I do. Contact me if you want to collaborate on a redesign of your current website, or if you want a new site. I will help you focus on your clients’ needs and will keep the communication lines open, so you are in the know every step of the project. Let’s collaborate!

If not me, then use this information to guide your decision when you want to choose a web designer.

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Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

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