For years, simple website design programs like WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace have given users the ability to quickly create stylish web pages, with simple drag-and-drop methods, but their layouts have become common and anticipated. Researching and hiring the right web design experts is the best way for a company of any size to create a unique and successful website! Read on to learn how to find the right web design experts for your company!
Important Questions to Ask as You Make Your Decision
Experienced web design experts are aware that with user expectations at an all-time high, companies can no longer offer consumers the same, outdated website designs that they have in the past. But, the amount of time and effort involved in creating a sleek and successful website versus a templated one is substantial and should not be taken lightly. With 67% of consumers wanting authenticity from their company’s websites, it’s important to find a web design company that builds unique websites from scratch and tailored to their client’s brand identity.
When interviewing web design candidates, prospective clients should remember that the web designer is going to be interviewing them as well. Professional website designers will want to know as much about their potential clients as they can within the first meeting so the owner or hiring manager should be ready to answer questions as well.
The following is a list of questions hiring agents should be ready to answer as well as questions to ask the potential web designers. By reviewing the following list, business owners will be better prepared for an interview with web design experts.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Do we want to redesign our current website or do we want to build a new one?
Some websites don’t really need a head-to-toe makeover, they just need a few highlights, and maybe a trim. Knowing the current state of the website as well as its potential for growth will allow both the business owner and designer the opportunity to accurately assess the size and intensity of the overall project. If a business owner decides that a redesign is better than a redo, they need to identify the current problems. What is the main reason for the change? What exactly is or isn’t working with the current website design?
How would we describe our business in a few sentences?
This information will give a prospective web designer a peek into what makes that particular company unique. Owners can include whatever they feel is necessary: the motivation for starting their company, the vision, the mission statement, the core values… As a potential client, these little tidbits of information will give insight to how the company wants to be portrayed now and in the long run. Your audience will benefit from this as well since they will be able to receive the most accurate and sincere consumer experience from your website.
What are all of the services we provide?
Each industry participating in the world of internet marketing has developed its own style or structure of the website. For example, service industry web pages, like Vertechs Electrical, are commonly filled with aesthetically pleasing, emotionally charged images of happy customers being provided with said services. Behind the scenes, these websites might only need to include programs that allow scheduling and payment directly online. A retail website like Nike, on the other hand, offers thousands of different tailor-made products so their website is centered around clean product images, navigational bars, and category filters. Even if the lines are clean and the images are perfect, a website’s design must correspond with its purpose or consumers will quickly get confused and frustrated; most likely taking their business elsewhere.
Who is our target audience?
The target audience pertains to the individuals who would be most interested or most helped by a product or service. Customer demographics like age, gender, geographical location, job title, industry, economic status, and education level are all key factors in the development of a website. These consumer attributes allow website design experts to get a feel for the style and content that would best fit their client’s target customer. Just like body language, the copy isn’t the only thing speaking to the consumer.
What features do we KNOW we want included in the design?
The answer to this question is dependent upon the company’s overall goal with the website: boost sales, increase visibility, encourage engagement or amplify leads. Elements like cross-browser efficiency, live on-site messaging, social media platform integration, call-to-action content and customer service accessibility can increase all of the aforementioned goals and more.
What are examples of some websites we currently do and don’t like? And why?
There is infinite freedom when it comes to web design in the 21st century. Web designers today have the awkward rebuttal of having too many choices. Business owners who have an idea of what style they are looking for will allow the web design experts to create a practical, well-written blueprint more accurately the first time around.
What is our budget and hopeful launch date?
Although deceptively simple, this answer may be the hardest and most important of all. The above factors, as well as any others the web designers may bring up, play an important role in the comprehensive web design puzzle. Creating the blueprint for a website is meticulous and time-consuming. Business owners should be cognizant of realistic time frames and steer clear of promises that sound too good to be true.
Questions to Ask the Designer
What are the steps in your design process?
Every web designer will have their own way of doing things but there are 4 main parts that need to be identified: planning, presenting, development, and testing.
- The planning portion of the process includes deciding on the style and type of website that’s best suited for their client; outlining the entire website with the intention of streamlining the development process later on.
- The presenting portion of website design includes presenting the wireframe documents to the business owner/client. Wireframe documents are the blueprint for the website. They are a functional and attractive way to outline the individual pages, their designs, the site architecture, navigational options, dropdown and sidebar menus, and UX.
- Development refers to both the front and back end of the website configuration. Like DNA and body composition, the back end of the website is the behind-the-scenes, the code that decides the structure of the website and all of its capabilities. The front end of the website is what the user sees, or how the DNA portrays itself.
- Testing is the final part of the web design process. This is where the web design experts will ensure seamless processing of all clicks and navigation throughout the website map. Small errors can undercut a great website so business leaders need to ensure that there is a testing protocol in place before launch.
Do you offer post-launch support?
Post-launch support is extremely important for companies that have not yet hired an experienced digital marketing team. Many issues can arise on the back or front end of a website. Even a few minutes of lost connection or downtime can be detrimental to sales, industry authority, and ultimately customer trust.
What types of websites do you specialize in?
At their core, websites can work in a multitude of ways. Depending on the company’s industry, customer type, and business goals, websites can include pages specifically for company information, eCommerce/sales, lead generation, landing pages, providing service, email retrieval, and more. Some web designers specialize, or have only worked sparingly, with a handful of website design types. Potential clients should ask about their past experiences with different industries and web page designs.
Do you utilize Buyer Personas?
Whether they use one or two, 10 or 20, buyer personas are one of the best ways to challenge a website’s capabilities and overall efficiency. Based on consumer data and research, buyer personas are semi-functional representations of the company’s ideal customers. By using buyer personas for each type of potential buyer, companies are able to guide website development to suit the needs of the target audience.
There are two types of buyer personas: ideal and exclusionary. The ideal persona is the best-case scenario buyer. The exclusionary persona attributes to low conversions and negative traffic flow. This buyer could represent someone who is too advanced for the company’s products or service depending on education level or economic status. If the interviewee doesn’t plan on utilizing this great strategy they might not be the best candidate for the project.
Do you create ‘User Journeys’?
Similar to buyer personas, user journeys allow the company and web designers to take a look inside the consumer’s mind as they navigate across web pages and through the entirety of the website. In jest, user journeys map out the paths of various users through a predefined set of goals in order to validate the success of a new procedure. The difference between the two is that the user journey has more to do with the actions taken by the consumers, it is a little more in-depth with predetermined algorithms, navigational data, and internal processes.
What is the focus of your web design strategy?
The focus of all websites is or should be, user experience and user interface, UX, and UI for short. The portion of website design focused on UX optimizes the user journey by challenging current features and analyzing existing constraints. UI design includes a combination of information architecture, interactive design, and visual design. No matter what part of the planning process is in focus, UX and IU are always at the core of each decision.
What is included in your web design packages?
Web design experts will have their own list of included services. One great item to look for in the list of services would be the mention of rapid prototyping. Rapid prototyping involves the creation of an interactive mockup of a website or mobile app allowing the client or business owner to review concepts, identify shortcomings, and share feedback in the early stages of project design.
Working with a Website Marketing Expert after Launch
Although the website launch may feel like the finish line for some budding entrepreneurs, established company owners are aware that, at this point, the race has only just begun. When thinking about the creation of a website, the web design experts should be seen as the architect and engineer, ensuring aesthetic item placement as well as optimal website integrity and efficiency. If a company plans on outsourcing web design, there should be a plan as to who’s going to be in charge of running and maintaining the website post-launch.
Normally, the individuals who are responsible for the maintenance of the new website would be the ones on the marketing team, but more specifically the website marketing experts. The task of dressing an entire website is no easy feat, as a company’s website is not only its most important asset, it’s often the consumer’s first impression of that brand. Google recently did a study on the time it takes for consumers to form their initial impression of a web page. With most consumers forming their initial judgments within 17 and 50 milliseconds of loading, the website design experts have a fraction of a second to produce a positive experience for all potential customers. Once a positive first impression is made, it’s the marketing experts team to keep them engaged and informed until they make a buying decision.
Hiring the right website marketing expert to adorn your company’s new website is extremely important because their job does not stop at choosing charming pictures and adding graphics. When searching online through Google or any other search engine, consumers are only able to find a website by its content and copy, or what information is actually on the page.
For example, if a consumer searches the phrase ‘outdoor furniture’ only the web pages that include the term ‘outdoor furniture’ will be shown. If a company’s website sells outdoor furniture but they only include the term ‘patio furniture’ the consumer will not be able to find that company’s web page in the results; even though they have the items he or she is searching for.
With 70-80% of consumers researching small businesses before purchasing from them, website marketing experts understand how important it is to use copy and content marketing to attract and retain new customers.
We Can Be Your Web Design Experts (and More)!
Outsourcing website design can be anxiety-inducing for business owners who understand the impact that their website has on the overall success of the company. Some may feel as if they are losing control of their entire online image, but it doesn’t have to feel that way, nor should it!
Experienced web design experts will be proficient in creating unique design services for their clients, as well as providing great customer service. The right web design experts will ensure that the voices of the owner and marketing leaders are heard in all decisions. We can help any company conquer the web with our top-of-the-line web design and development services! If you’re ready to start your online adventure, reach out to us today!