Creating a website or redesigning a website is a big undertaking. There’s a lot of things that go into business web design from research, planning, editing, to reiterating. As a small business owner, hiring a web designer is a fairly new experience. While it may seem straightforward, there are a lot of things that can affect the results of your projects. One of the most important things you need to do is to make sure you communicate to your designer in the right manner. To help you avoid big communication mistakes and stay professional, here are some tips on what not to say to your designer.
1. “I know I need a new design but I don’t know what kind of design to go for.”
It’s perplexing for a designer to be contacted for work and not know the objective of the project. This is a confusing situation because both of you have no idea exactly what you want the website to accomplish. The main thing you need to be aware of is the fact that your design should help support the goal of the website rather than simply define the website.
You are also putting the web designer in a compromising situation. Yes, the designer can most certainly give you some recommendations (and he probably will). However, the designer will not understand your business, brand, or the goals of the website if you don’t understand these things. If you follow up with a designer’s recommendation and you don’t like it, you’ll probably feel resentful for taking his advice.
Instead, figure out what exactly you want the website to do. Are you trying to promote your brand? Do you want the design to maximize sales conversions? Come up with a goal and get some ideas on how you can achieve these goals by looking at competitors, analyzing case studies, and being aware of industry practices. Then, tell your designer what you’re looking for so that the design can be created with the end goal in mind.
2. “Can you make my site EXACTLY like this one? All you need to do is copy it, right?”
It’s fairly common for clients to find examples of designs they like and present it to their designer. However, a big mistake that clients often make is to ask if the designer can copy another company’s logo or ask if the designer can replicate a specific website. The reason this is a big mistake is because the copied design often won’t translate well into a good final product. It’s also not a correct assumption to say that copying something is necessarily easier as there are many things that go behind a good design.
Instead, point out what elements of the websites that you like in your examples so that you can incorporate it into your own design. At the end of the day, you want a website that is unique and stands out from the competition. I’ve seen many clients ask designers to copy existing websites only to end up being dissatisfied with the final result. Sadly, the only person they can blame is themselves.
3. “This needs to be done by this date. Can you do it?”
You have to realize that everyone has some kind of impending deadline. You want your website done in a certain timeframe to move forward with your business while the designer has multiple deadlines for existing projects. It’s unfair for you to impose a tight deadline as one of the qualifications for whether the designer will get the job or not.
Designers want to win the project and want their clients to be happy, so they will often agree to a deadline that is incredibly difficult to meet. While you may feel like imposing a tight deadline will help you get your business web design done faster, what will often happen is that the quality of the work will suffer due to the designer not being able to put in the proper amount of time.
Instead, be a little more flexible with your deadline. Ask the designer about his schedule and give an idea of how long it would take to complete the project. Tell the designer about your deadline and come to an agreement about a date the project should be finished by. Include milestones within the timeline to help you keep track of how the project is progressing.
4. “I know we already agreed on this but you don’t mind if you go back and change it again, do you?”
If you’ve already established what you wanted for the design with your designer, it’s not very fair for you to ask for drastic changes or big revisions during the middle of the project. You have to realize that in web design, certain elements are created to complement other elements. This means that changing one element requires the changing of another.
Instead, ask the designer about revisions and changes that can be made. Most designers are more than happy to offer several revisions for the project. Set up milestones during the project so that you can review the designs as the project progresses and not during a random phase of the project.
5. “Hey, I realized I want to do something different. Can you take care of it for me right now?”
Whether you need changes or have an idea for your website that requires urgency, it’s out of place to ask that the designer respond immediately to your beck and call. Designers have tight schedules and are working on multiple projects on any given day, so they cannot just drop everything to make sure your needs are taken care of on the spot.
Instead, set up an appointment for you to talk with the designer or establish clear schedules so that you can both reach other without any barriers. Many designers will happily give you an emergency line whether it’s a priority email, their personal voice mail, or a direct line to address urgent issues. Making unrealistic demands can really put a bad foot forward.
In conclusion, it’s important to know how to work with a designer to get the best possible results for your project. You also need to know how to communicate and cooperate with the designer if you want your website done in a timely manner. Avoiding these common mistakes will help make sure that your next design project goes off without a hitch.