Website design can be a frustrating process for everyone involved- if the expectations are not clearly outlined and met or exceeded. Some companies charge forward with very little consultation and hand holding only to upset their customers as they thought they would have a contributing role in the project. Others do too much hand holding and expect too much from their customers. This ends up making it more work than the customer expected when they decided to hire a web design team. In order to achieve a good balance between being hands-on and hands-off, the web design company must clearly outline the expectations for the client, as well as what the clients expectations should be of them. Without this, each party may have very different ideas as to what constitutes the best workflow and approach.
- Be Clear and Concise – With the potential for multiple designers, developers, and project managers to be working on your project at the same time it is crucial that you are very clear as to what you want to achieve and that you do not muddle your ideas with too many extraneous thoughts.
- Be Specific – Instead of using phrases like “I want it to pop” be clear as to exactly what should pop and what exactly pop means. Pop could mean that something has a drop shadow and looks like it is popping off of the background and it could also mean that it has bright crisp colors. You can see where the confusion can come in when using subjective phrases and words that can have different meanings to different people.
- Be Courteous – We all know that you want your website, you want it right, and you want it right now but being rude is a sure fire way to not get the best from people. Once a relationship has soured often times developers just go through the motions without much care for the project or the customer. Being courteous and remembering that people are just people will go a long way towards keeping you and your web design team happy. Of course you will always have to know where to draw the line.
- Provide Examples – Perhaps the number one way to get exactly what you want is to provide examples for your web designers and developers to follow. Similar to a picture being worth a thousand words, an example of code, functionality, or usage can be worth a thousand keystrokes.
- Be Realistic – There is only so much work that can be completed within a given timeframe and some things within the inner workings of a website just cannot be worked on concurrently. Setting realistic expectations for yourself and your web designer will not only set you both at ease but will allow for your expectations to be met and exceeded.
- Be Organized – When gathering and collating files, images, and examples for your web design team try to keep them as organized as possible. Create folders that contain the specific text and images for the pages of your website and name them appropriately. An easy way to do this is to create a folder and name it the name of your site. Then for each page create another folder named appropriately such as “about us”. Within this “about us” folder should be your text file with the text that is to go on the page as well as any images or other elements that should be placed there as well. It should not contain anything not related as this will cause confusion.
With a little forethought and planning the website design process can be an easy and painless one that can be very rewarding. Of course this is a two way street and often times you get what you give so give your best and you will get your design teams best as well.