Today I talked to a lovely lady who needs a small and simple website that is visually formed to reflect her creative work. Unfortunately she's had a previous nightmarish experience. This is what we recommend to avoid the following scenario playing out in your world.
The lady explained how the website she had commissioned looked like an own brand off the shelf template with no quality to speak of. She found that the content was written with more emphasise towards ‘Google bots’ than human understanding (note that Google doesn’t even like dehumanised content). Design is like buying an invisible product. You can't pick it up and give it a shake or try before you buy. It's almost indefinable. So how do you avoid the design headache experienced by some?
We recommend you ask the following six questions about your design team:
- Most importantly, are they multi disciplinary? Building a website for example, involves web hosting and domain services, copywriting, site navigation, image sourcing, branding, web development, search engine optimisation, project management and design. It’s not just a big hole called ‘web design’ and the language of your team and your estimate of works should reflect this.
- Do they have fans? Nothing speaks louder than what other people say.
- Do you like what you see? Assess a portfolio of work. If you don’t like what you see it’s unlikely you will ever like their style.
- Do you click? Take time out to meet the designer and if you don’t gel then don’t force the relationship.
- What’s hidden in the small print? Don’t get caught out with the unforeseen.
- Are they listening? Seriously, conversation should flow, not be one way. In fact you should be talking more, expressing your needs, your goals, your likes and dislikes.
...As for the project, we will keep you posted.