You’ve set up a business, you have a business plan and an incredible offer. Now you plan working on a website that will help you communicate all this.
Today, a website is a basic tool for selling and creating a brand identity. To stand out from the competition, you must ensure that it is functional, visually attractive and full of valuable content. For the project to meet these conditions, it is best to hire a specialist who will help you find the right solutions.
However, even hiring a freelancer may seem like a tedious process while working on a website. Many people have a problem with how to find the right designer, what to look for and what to ask before starting cooperation.
That is why in this article I share with you advice on how to commission a website to a designer and how to ensure that the final product meets the needs of the company and responds to the expectations of users.
Important before starting working on a website
When ordering a website, make sure you have enough time to implement it. If you are interested in an unusual project with a well-designed user experience, created with attention to detail, you have to take into account that the work can take from several weeks to several months. Reducing this time will not benefit your company and can at most generate many errors and thus additional costs.
Think about what service you care about. Many graphic designers only deal with the design itself. Which means that they will not provide you with texts, original photos or will not implement the website. Therefore, in the beginning, clearly, indicate what kind of the scope of services you are interested in.
Make sure who you are really looking for. As in many other industries, the design is now becoming more and more specialized. When looking for a freelancer who will work on your website, be sure you are looking for the right person. Instead of stating that you will employ a graphic designer, make clear that you need a specialist in web design.
Choosing the right designer
As with the complex project, it is important to check before starting work whether the freelancer you have chosen is the right person for you. I honestly believe that many factors contribute to success, and one of them is the right match with the designer.
As a designer myself, before I even start working on website design, I make sure the client’s expectations, budget, and deadline. Thanks to this, I know if I am able to help in this particular case and whether we on the same page. This is important for the success of the project.
Working on a website is often a long process that requires the involvement of both parties. That is why it is good to know if our expectations coincide with what the designer can offer. At the first contact, pay attention to whether the person efficiently responds to messages, provides comprehensive answers and whether his work process is understandable.
First contact with the designer
In my experience, budding entrepreneurs often do not know exactly what information they should include in the inquiry. This is not surprising! The process of working on a website may seem complicated and full of incomprehensible definitions. Below are some tips on what to send to a designer before you make a final decision.
- Who are you and what does your business do?
- What are the reasons behind the desire to create a website design or re-design,
- How many pages will the project contain,
- What functionalities and elements should it contain,
- Have you already made any decisions related to the project – e.g. platform type,
- Do you have hosting and domain names,
- Are you only interested in graphic design or also implementing a website,
- Are you also interested in the mobile version design?
Knowing this information, the designer will immediately have an idea about your expectations and whether they are able to help you. What can you expect in response? Make sure that during the exchange of messages, before signing the contract, you will receive the answers to the following questions:
- How many pages does the project price contain? And what is the cost of additional subpages?
- Is the implementation included in the price?
- How many corrections are included in the price?
- What are the design stages?
- How long does the lead time, including corrections, take?
- In what format will the website design be submitted?
- What is the way of communication when working on the project?
- Is there a need to pay an advance?
Brief and interview before you start working on website
If both you and the designer are ready to sign the contract and start the journey, you can proceed to the next design stage, in which you will have to provide more detailed information. Data that you have sent earlier may be enough to make a quote, but will not allow you to start work.
A good designer will try to understand your needs and expectations and will ask questions related to the business model of the company and the target group.
Before you commission a project, think about a few things:
- What is the website for?
- What goals does it meet?
- Who is it addressed to – who is the receiving group?
- What is most important for the user and what he is looking for?
- How will the site help you grow your business?
- This information will be useful to you when determining the details and completing the brief.
Design of a website step by step
Each designer has a different process of working on the site, but for me, the most important thing is to get to know the client and his company. After receiving the brief and the initial interview, I create boards for my clients, which help in choosing the right style and thus open the stage of work on the graphic design.
Mood board at working on a website
Mood boards are a set of graphics that, put together, create a distinctive style and atmosphere. Depending on the type of design, they contain page designs, UI fragments, but also printed materials and even fashion trends that match the desired style. Boards are always an excuse for discussion. It is important for me to know the customer’s opinion and possibly exclude solutions that will not work in his case. This is an appropriate introduction to the next stage.
User experience and wireframes
Many designers skip this stage to save time and quickly move to implementation, although in my opinion, it is one of the most important elements of a successful project.
Wireframes are a scheme of a website and subpages, thanks to which we can see the initial layout, evaluate the functionalities used and check the amount of text. At this stage, we are able to make quick changes without having to redesign the whole design.
Wireframes do not use any characteristic graphics, fonts or colors in order not to distract attention from really important elements that make up well-designed user experience.
Summary – what we get after finishing work on the website
After finishing working on the website, you will receive a modern and functional project ready for implementation by the developer. Myself, I also include assistance in working with a programmer. At the implementation stage, I try to be in touch with the person responsible for development. Everything to make sure that the project has been completed correctly.
Based on the findings from previous stages, the final graphic design of the website is created. As you can see, the design is not the result of the designer’s vision, but above all a conscious process.
Interested in ordering a website project? Contact me. I will help you make the right design decisions.