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10 Secrets To Eliciting The Best Possible Work From Your We…

The most effective and professional web sites are often a group effort on the part of the client and the designer. Preparing surely beforehand, taking your time to select the most suitable individual or design team and asking the right questions can make all the difference.

Once you have selected a web designer for your project, reviewed the portfolio, checked references, confirmed pricing and organized the content, you can begin the next phase. This involves making sure the project proceeds exactly how you want and expect. Make sure to review the following guidelines to ensure you receive the best possible work from your web designer.

1. Spend Time Creating A Creative Brief

This will provide the designer with important written details relating to your company, your marketing plans, website specifics, as well as your specific goals. Preparing this information in advance will reduce the risk of communication delays via telephone or email. You can assist the designer by sending all the required items such as any text, photos, logos and website or design examples. Ask your designers if they have a Creative Brief template for you to complete.

2. Create A Draft Site Map

This step will eliminate the dreaded "scope creep", prevent unexpected pricing changes and provide the designer with the big picture of your design expectations. You can choose to draw a draft and scan the document, compile a list of all pages and links or create the document in Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.

3. Submit Actual Samples of Sites You Admire

As the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words" and that rings true when it comes to assisting your web designer as well. Describing sites you like may be difficult, and your designer may envision a completely different concept than the one in your head. It is much easier and efficient to send links to multiple sites you admire.

4. Address Scheduling and Payment Issues Promptly

Always make a prompt deposit so that your designer can begin working on your project as soon as possible. Delaying this payment can cause unnecessary project delays which may jeopardize your deadlines. Ask for a detailed schedule of the entire process, from design concepts, revisions, site programming to hosting. Getting these in writing upfront will keep your project moving on both sides and will also identify possible scheduling conflicts.

5. Prepare Content In Advance

This is the number one project killer in the web design business. If you're writing content during the design process, you risk receiving a design that does not suit your content. Another reason to prepare content as early as possible is the fact that ideas and thoughts often change during the writing process.

6. Provide Constructive Feedback

Most web designers put a lot of pride and passion into their work. Consequently, they may take certain criticism personally. You do not have to coddle the designer because this is a business agreement. However, try to be as positive, encouraging and specific as possible when discussing any issues or design flaws. Maintaining an optimistic outlook will keep your design team motivated and eager to please.

7. Group Your Changes & Submit Them in Bulk

You can reduce frustration for both parties if you compile a list of changes and submit all of them to your web designer at the same time. This can also help to reduce the delivery time by enabling your designer to focus on the actual design process, rather than individual change requests.

8. Seek Multiple Opinions On Your Design Before During the Design Process

Make sure to obtain several different opinions on your design to ensure it is in line with your expectations and creative vision. Other people who view your site may react differently to it than you expected so try to seek feedback from many different people.

9. Inquire About The Time frame For Concept Changes

Always remember to ask when your next concept changes will be ready. Keep your design team advised of your specific schedule and deadlines. If they do not receive this critical information, you risk delays or missed deadlines. Make sure the expectations for both parties are very clear.

10. Request Documentation & Original Artwork Upon Completion

If you ask your designer for documentation of their work on your site, you will find it much easier to make future revisions. Documentation should include any necessary templates and possible training required for you to update the site once the project is complete. Many designers will include a style guide to facilitate this process. Ask for this upon completion to avoid losing valuable information or original artwork.

You most likely spend a reasonable amount of time and effort choosing the right web designer or team for your project. Therefore, you should also spend the necessary time to prepare adequately when it comes to working on your website. This will reduce time, frustration and expense for both parties and ensure you end up with a professional website. Following the above guidelines will assist your web designers and enable them to create their best work.

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