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Posted by miket in FAQs

How to work well with a great web designer

Why do some organizations look great… and get great results from their website design efforts and ads… while others languish in mediocrity? I think it has little to do with who they hire and a lot to do with how they work with their agencies and website designers.

Here are the things your website designer wishes you would know:

If you want average (mediocre) work, ask for it. Be really clear up front that you want something beyond reproach, that’s in the middle of the road, that will cause no controversy and will echo your competition. It’ll save everyone a lot of time.

On the other hand, if you want great work, you’ll need to embrace some simple facts:

  • It’s going to offend someone. If it doesn’t offend them, then it will make them nervous. The Vietnam Vets memorial offended a lot of people. The design of Google made plenty of people nervous. Great work from a design team means new work, refreshing and remarkable and bit scary.
  • You can’t tell me you’ll know it when you see it. First, you won’t. Second, it wastes too much time. Instead, you’ll need to have the patience to invest twenty minutes in accurately describing the strategy. That means you need to be abstract (what is this work trying to accomplish), resistant to pleasing everyone (it needs to do this, this and that) and willing, if the work meets your strategic goal, to embrace it even if it’s not to your taste.
  • It’s not going to be easy to sell to your boss. That’s your job, by the way, not mine. If you want me to do something great, you’ve got to be prepared to protect it and defend it. Come back too many times for one little compromise, and you’ll make it clear that #1 was what you wanted all along.
  • Help me out by pointing out the work you’d like this to be on a peer with. If you want a website to be like three others (in tone, not in execution) then point it out. In advance.
  • Be clear about dates and costs. Not what you hope for, but what you can live with!
  • You don’t know a lot about accounting so you don’t backseat drive your accountant. You hired a great website designer, please don’t backseat drive here, either.
  • This one may surprise you: don’t change your existing design so often. Not when your kids or your colleagues tell you it’s time. Do it when your accountant says so.
  • Don’t get stressed about your logo.
  • Get very stressed about providing interesting content that gives value to people looking for you (search engine rankings) and who have found you (establish credibility and expertise).
  • Say ‘thank you’.

* this FAQ is derived from a post by Seth Godin – please visit his blog for great insights into business, marketing, design, and life in general. http://sethgodin.typepad.com

To help you make the right decision about a web design firm, I’ve written an article that helps you ask the right questions and kick the tires effectively. How to Hire a Great Web  Design Firm

Are you ready to work with a great website designer?

If you’re not getting the traffic or conversion (new business leads) that you need from your website, then get in touch with me. I’ll review your website for a variety of issues: design, speed, search engine optimization, traffic flow, mobile-readiness, usability and clear call to action. You’ll get the good, the bad and the ugly – it’s only by breaking some eggs can we make a great omelet.

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