A few months ago, my husband and I went on our honeymoon to Walt Disney World. My husband, being the gentleman that he is, surprised me by booking the Disney BoardWalk Inn (one of my favorite Disney properties) as our hotel while we were down there!
If you’ve ever stayed on campus at Disney, you know it’s so incredibly different than staying off site – you literally never leave the Disney magic! We had all of these big plans to explore the hotel, try out the three different pools, water-slides, and restaurants all along the boardwalk.
But, by the time our trip came to a close, we realized that we had never taken a swim in any of the pools, tried the water-slide, and we only ate at one restaurant. Even though we had a great time, we didn’t get all of the value out of our resort that we could’ve with everything the BoardWalk Inn had to offer.
Often times, same is true in the web design world.
Clients ask a designer to work on a web project for them, and the client only gets half (or less) of the true value the designer has to offer. So how does one go about getting the full value of what a designer has to offer? The next time you work with a designer, try to remember these four simple things:
Fully brief the designer on your business.
If you hire a designer to remake your website, be ready to answer some questions about your business and the direction you want to take the project. This will save unending amounts of frustration from both the client and designer in the long run. A designer will want to know the ins and outs of your business, who your competition is, what sets you apart from your competition, and any other pertinent information pertaining to your business that they might be able to use to create a website that’s uniquely tailored to you and what you do. A web designer’s job is to create a “home” for your business online that will represent you to potential clients. The best thing you can do is to give the designer as much information about your business as possible. In return, the designer will most likely do lots of additional research to be sure he or she is creating something truly unique to your industry.
Give the designer some inspiration.
Designers want to know what you like, what you don’t like, what you absolutely love and what you absolutely cannot stand (in terms of design, color palette, etc.). If you cannot STAND the color red, be sure to mention that to your designer, so they don’t start creating a website with a red color palette (yes, that really happened). Or if you truly despise full screen websites, be sure to mention that to your designer as well. The more information that can be given on the front end, the faster the designer can get to the perfect solution for you. It’s also not a bad idea to give them a couple of ideas of websites you really love (but make sure to tell them why you love about them). But in turn, remember that a designer can’t completely replicate a design, just take inspiration from it.
Allow the designer some room to be creative.
On the flip side, allow your designer some room to play around. Chances are, they want to create something that’s unique (and epic), and it might mean trying something that’s never been done before, or going in a bit of a different direction that you originally thought you would like. Instead of shutting them down right away, give their idea a try. Chances are they’ve put in the research, have some experience, and know what will work and be attractive from a design standpoint.
Remember that good design takes time.
Some designers get things done really quickly. They come up with the best idea first, run with it, and hit it out of the park from the get-go. However, for many designers, coming up with the perfect idea usually takes a little bit of time (and usually the best idea isn’t their first idea). Time frame usually varies from project to project, so make sure to discuss the project time frame with your designer from the project’s onset so you’re both on the same page. Remember, your designer will be doing research, creating sketches, wire frames, color palettes, and choosing font pairings in an attempt to create something not only unique, but distinctive to your business, which can take quite a bit of time.
The next time you contact your web designer or start a new web project, try keeping these four simple guidelines in mind. In doing so, you’ll be sure to get the most value out of your web designer, and in turn, help them create something you’ll be proud to display to clients.