Today we bring you another guest post from Linda Phillips, who represents YarraWeb out of Melbourne, Australia.
Web designers and their clients have a famously strained relationship, and this is largely due to communication problems.
Web designer must often second guess what the business owner wants, while the client doesn’t always listen to advice from the web designer. Since the designer has more of an idea about what makes a good website, this causes friction.
This lack of effective communication can often in countless redesigns, which wastes everyone’s time. Ultimately, the end result is a site that represents too much compromise to fulfill its potential.
Of course, for most companies, using a web design service is the right answer. Doing so provides a much more professional end product that reflects better on the business, lasts longer before it looks outdated, works on more devices, and results in greater conversion rates and more profits.
Improving communication is the only thing you need to work on to achieve this vision. Here’s how you can do just that.
Understand Their Role
Before you begin, first make sure that you know where to let the web designers take over.
When you hire a web design service, you are paying not just for their ability to create sites, but also for their experience and their knowledge. They know how to design a site that will be successful, and they understand the business side of what works.
Of course, they will execute on whatever you request, but if they recommend to you that a colour scheme might not be such a good idea, or that a lengthy intro isn’t great for your retention, then you would be best served by listening.
Instead of communicating a set of rigid guidelines, try to let them know the rough concept you’re going for and the feel of it. That way, they can work their magic within the parameters you outline.
Another thing to consider is that your web designers will have a more objective view of your business and will know how to represent you in a way that is true to your image. On the other hand, CEOs and managers of a company are often too close to the business to remain objective.
Use Mood Boards and Examples
The next challenge is how to communicate a ‘style’ or a ‘feel’ without being too rigid. There are a number of methods you can use.
One is to simply show them some websites you like, and supply them with your company logo and photos of your office/commercial sites.
You can even do this by creating a mood board, which is a collage of screen shots, colour samples, magazines, and elements that you want included. A mood board can capture an abstract ‘artistic direction’ for a website, and is a great way to demonstrate what you want without being too rigid.
Sketch Out Your Ideas
You should leave things like the appearance and functionality of key elements, such as your navigation, to your designers. If you do have any specific ideas, however, you can use a pencil sketch to demonstrate the kind of layout you want – just be open to feedback and try to stay flexible.
Linda Phillips sees a huge demand of web designers nowadays, which is why so many students are going into web design. According to Ms. Phillips, www.yarraweb.com has a great track record for having some of the best web designers in Melbourne.
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