5 steps to take before choosing a website designer

8 Nov 2021

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The look and feel of your website matters. It’s often the first interaction a potential customer has with your business, so it’s crucial it reflects your brand.

Choosing a designer or agency that fits your requirements plays a huge role in ensuring you get this right.

Knowing how to prepare, what to look for and what to avoid is crucial in making sure you end up with a final product you’re proud of.

Review your existing brand

If you aren’t in love with your existing branding, chances are you won’t love your new site either.

Before preparing your design brief, evaluate what works and what doesn’t in terms of your colors, logos and fonts, and decide whether your branding needs a fine-tune.

Remember, putting lipstick on a pig won’t hide its hoofs.

Consolidate your thoughts into a brief BEFORE reaching out

Know what you want to find before you start looking.

Be sure to include practical details like budgets and timelines, as well as what CMS you’re planning on using, to ensure your goals and budgets are aligned with potential providers.

Demonstrating a design style you like is much easier to show than tell, so be sure to include examples of what you like, and (just as important), what you don’t.

Be active in the pitching process

Always get the person pitching for the work to talk you through their proposal.

Some designers will have a flashy deck and a well-prepared spiel, but the wheels can quickly fall off if they have to deviate from this.

Find out as much info as you can about their process, and never assume something is included if it’s not listed in the

Proposal, that includes

  • Competitor research
  • Journey mapping and UX
  • Mobile/tablet designs
  • Limitations on rounds of feedback

Find out which of their examples they like best

Design is a two way process, more so than people think.

Seeing as the customer is always right, a designer’s flair will almost always take a back seat to directly addressing the feedback provided.
In a redesign project there can be so many rounds of feedback from different stakeholders that the finished product is unrecognisable from the initial mock-ups.

Finding out their favourite designs will give you a clearer idea of their own style, rather than that of their previous clients.

Talk to their clients

Ask if your potential designer is ok with you speaking to a few of their most recent clients. This is more to get an understanding of their client servicing skills rather than their ability as a designer.

Find out

  • If there were any issues relating to deadlines
  • About the quality of their communication
  • How efficiently were they able to understand and action feedback

The easiest way to ensure you spend sufficient time choosing a website designer is to include at least a few weeks in your project plan for this. Being thorough in your vetting process will save a huge amount of time, effort and money further down the line.