Your company’s website is the heart of your business. It’s where people go to find you, connect with you, contact you, and admire your work. It is one of your most important assets, the hub of all communication, and it should define your brand. Because your website is such a pivotal piece of who you are and what you do, you want it to be beautiful, functional – the best it can be. Thus, hiring a web design company is a big decision, and starting on that web design project can be a daunting task. If you have a lot of content, images, and functionalities that add complexity to the project, the task may seem even more tremendous. However, it does not have to loom so large. Here are some tips for a smoother, quicker web design process.
The most important factor in determining the timeliness and simplicity of even the most complex web design project is organization. Each web design project manager may have a different approach, but the below are some basic ideas.
- Organize your folder structure – you should have separate folders for content and graphics. Organize them by page and name them according to function and/or placement. Consult your design firm’s project manager to determine their recommended format for organization.
- Communication – Conveying your ideas and your vision clearly and succinctly to your web designer or project manager is essential. Prepare for your first meeting by researching some sample websites or elements that you admire. This is a crucial part of conveying your vision to the creatives involved in the process. They are inherently visual people and sharing visual cues – perhaps picking pieces of different sites that you really like – will give them ideas that will help them create the best possible site for you.
- Read the contract – Every web design and development firm will have a unique contract. Fully understanding the contract is the first step to great communication. There may be time limitations and protocol for revisions. These are in place to ensure a timely, smooth project, so make sure you understand the process and ask questions if anything is unclear.
- Ask questions – Another path to great communication is thorough understanding. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification. This will keep communication flowing and eliminate the fear that comes with loss of control. However, be prepared to step back and let your design firm guide the process – this is why you hired them.
- Stepping back – You hired a web design and development firm for many reasons. They know what they are doing. The good ones care about your business. They want you to succeed. They are creative. For all of these reasons and more, you should be able to trust your design firm when they offer advice. Sometimes this means you must take a step back from the minutiae of your design and see the bigger picture. Being able to do this will save you time and money.
The web design process can be truly rewarding. If you hire the right design firm, you will have the opportunity to work with creatives who can make your vision come true, an incredibly satisfying process for all parties involved. Do your research and make sure you not only love the firm’s portfolio, but that you are able to communicate comfortably with the team. Next to organization, communication is most important! Good luck with your project, and be sure to check out some of our other articles about web design and development.