Finding the right designer for your website project can be a confusing and rather intimidating task. You have an idea of what you and your customers will ultimately need out of your website, but how does that translate to what the final rendition will be? What qualities should you look for in a web designer to best represent your brand? As a web designer, I’ll tell you.
Your ideas need creative spin and feedback.
Whether or not you believe that you have a creative bone in your body, your ideas are entirely valid. You know your business and your ideal customer, but you may not necessarily be tech savvy or know every little detail that your website needs. A good website designer or developer knows how to constructively give feedback to your overall grand vision and turn it into a flowing, cohesive work of art.
Let’s look at an example. What’s the main difference between these two home pages?
“Order Online” or the Call-To-Action. It’s often a detail like this that may get overlooked when you are piecing together all these different elements you want at once, but it could make or break the overall effectiveness of your business’ homepage. I mean, how are you going to get downloads of your latest e-book if you don’t even have a “DOWNLOAD NOW” button?
You may need some of this, but none of that.
On the flip side, you don’t need to overthink it either. When things get too complex and you’ve forced your potential customer to jump through too many hoops just to get to the checkout, you will lose that sale. As a web designer, every part of the brand is subject to UI/UX testing (testing the customer’s experience entirely from their perspective or expectations).
Arguably, the only thing worse than not having enough of what you do need, is paying real dollars for something that you don’t need. Want to start building your mailing list, but not quite ready to launch your e-commerce store? As a professional website designer, I’ll know which tools to utilize based on what the nature of your business is, how it markets itself, and what your overall brand positioning involves. If your Etsy store isn’t quite ready for a full-blown Shopify standalone website, I’ll be able to tell you that.
When there are so many websites out there, focused, quality content matters.
Sometimes covering your bases is not a bad thing, but often it can obscure the overall messaging that you are trying to convey to a customer in a hurry. Whenever you’re unsure of what features you might need to add, a good web designer always stays true to the old K.I.S.S. principal that my Grade 9 Math & Science teacher first told me: “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”
Remember: Whitespace is good – it attracts the eye to what really matters; your content. Content is king. Because you only have a matter of seconds to impress your audience enough to make them stay and hear what you have to offer, It has to be clean, consistent and clear.
Put it in perspective.
You may be asking “I’m a late-night pizza joint, why does content matter to me?” Well, it does. Joe is searching for pizza 11 o’clock on a Friday night, so you want to have quality content that puts your website first while they are searching for you on Google. You want to stand out from the other joints on your block. You especially do not want Sally when she’s searching for Sushi on a Wednesday early-lunch run.
You will need someone there when things change or go awry.
Things just go wrong. Especially in business.
Perhaps you didn’t imagine in a million years you’d take the burger off your menu, or that your app would change its targeted demographic. Well, you’ll have a PR nightmare on your hands when your website proudly promotes your burger special but you don’t even serve beef anymore, or when your app is now all about finding people for Saturday morning paddle-boarding instead of organizing Sunday evening knitting groups. It’s best you let them know that before they find out the hard way – if not, they may never come back. A good web designer keeps themselves only an email away from making the necessary changes in a pinch.
You may not be mobile-focused enough.
Over half of all internet searches are now coming from mobile devices. Over half. And that number is steadily increasing as the world goes mobile. So why does that matter to your business?
Think about it, when’s the last time you went to a website that wasn’t mobile responsive? Wasn’t it frustrating trying to zoom in with your fingers to read the text written for ants? Maybe you don’t know what mobile responsive or mobile-friendly means, and that is totally okay! It means that the website knows what size of device you are using to read through its content, so it displays it appropriately. Technology changes, and your business needs to, too.
Try this on for size.
If Rick is searching for a nearby dentist in a pinch from his iPhone, a website that clearly shows him a practice’s hours, location and phone number on his phone in a matter of seconds is going to get his call. It’s as simple as that.
It’s the little details that come together.
When a whole bunch of well-executed little things come together, your big-picture brand ideas for your business naturally fall into place as well. When you hire a good web designer they can quickly bring all these little elements into play so that not only are you staying relevant to your customer, but you grand vision of how you present your business to your customer is the only thing that’s in play. Trust me, when you hire a good web designer, it’s like bringing on a partner to your business that can help you scale and elevate your business’ branding and online presence like nothing else.
Ultimately, web design is making an investment in your business’ branding, and finding the right fit with a designer is how you maximize the return on that investment. Take these tips as a way to use your own intuition as a business owner and make your next web design (or re-design) project flow from initial consultation to the final product.
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