How to make your web designer love you

Perhaps making your web designer happy is not your primary goal, but here’s the thing – it can save them time, and save you money!

Here are a few ways to make your web designer’s life easier and start your website project off on the right foot.

1. Get your Sh%t together

Yes, you need a quote before you can commit and get your stuff together – that’s fine. But once you have hired a web designer, your level of organization is largely what dictates the speed that your site will progress. Don’t send your materials in draft, in dribs and drabs over a lengthy period. Don’t expect your designer to wade through 300 photographs to find ones that they think will work (unless you want to pay them to do it!)

Instead, wait until you’ve got all your materials proofed, selected and ready to go, and then send them with a site plan. Label your files and emails according to the page you want them to appear.

2. Be clear and honest

If you don’t like what you see in a draft design – let your designer know! Try to express what you don’t like as clearly as you can. Show them sites you do like and articulate why. Try to be specific about elements like layout, spacing, colours, fonts and overall style if you have preferences or opinions.

3. Ask for second opinion, but have one primary contact

If you don’t (have opinions) – well that’s ok too. You might want to ask a friend or someone else in your company or Board to take a look at the draft and let you know what they think.

Just be sure that the  second opinion goes to you, and if you agree then send it to your designer. That way your designer isn’t dealing with different opinions and directives from different people. Be clear about who is the primary company contact for your website development.

4. Stay in touch

If you disappear for months and don’t respond to emails, you can’t expect your designer to keep your project front and centre – waiting for the moment you decide it needs to be done tomorrow. The faster and more clearly you respond to questions and drafts, the faster your project will move toward completion.

5. Specify your timeline

As you are making inquiries and getting quotes, it’s helpful to let designers know up front when you hope to have the project launched, and also if there are black out periods (vacations, for example) when you won’t be available.

As I’ve said, much depends on you to keep the ball rolling – if you are responsive and clear, you can expect a project to move forward in a timely manner. If you have been waiting for a week or two and nothing’s happening, it’s ok to check in with your designer on the status of your project. There could be a hold up with materials from your staff that you don’t realize, or a request from your designer that needs to be dealt with.

6. Praise lavishly

Designers, especially self-employed ones like me, often depend on your word of mouth recommendations to secure future work. If you are happy with their work (and let’s hope you are!), let your industry contacts know who created your site and what you were especially happy with. Give your designer a quote they can use in their portfolio. And while you’re at it – a phrase or two sharing their glory on social media can go a long way too!

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