Unique user experience is essential for any small business! It means the perfect combination of visually appealing and functional design. That’s why we’ve prepared this practical guide for hiring a web designer to make your website and solution foolproof!
The web designer will give a special touch, making everything not just looking good but feeling good, helping you provide a great experience to your clients – because that’s how you convert!
Before hiring a web designer
To make your project a huge success and make it translate your business vision, you need to prepare a very important document called design brief. It contains all the fundamental information of your business, project, audience, and graphic elements.
Before moving on with hiring a web designer, you need very clear guidelines of what you want your project to look like and expected deliverables. Create the most complete design brief with this video!
Another important thing is having a content management system (CMS), like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. The CMS allows you to create and share your content, define how it will be displayed, and are often easy-to-use for non-technical people too. Like that, you don’t need a developer every week to make small changes.
Once you have all that figured out, you’ll start looking for the perfect web designer. Use marketplaces like Fiverr, Upwork, even 99designs could be a great platform if you want to run a design competition, for example. Check on their skills, previous experiences, which features they work with, and any other relevant information for your project.
Last but not least, define your budget consciously. Your website and application are your visit cards. So, would you really like cutting short on its resources? Instead, plan ahead the different features, and see what are the essentials at each stage. This way, you’ll save money (and time!) more efficiently, without risking the quality of your project. Much better, no?
Top kills of a great designer
Because web designers handle tasks focused on customer interactions, they must think strategically, yet creatively. A great professional has good knowledge of user experience design (UX), which is a customer-focused approach, combined with graphic and website design principles.
A customer-focused web designer wants to understand your users’ habits, emotions, goals, and expectations. It involves user research and usability testing, interaction design, content strategy, and user scenario. For these reasons, he or she could also be integrated into a post-launch evaluation and strategy for continuous improvements.
You should also look for a resourceful professional, with a diverse portfolio having worked for different industries, and whose work you can check. Take the time to visit the websites and applications they’ve made, so you can see it in action. If you don’t like it, then he or she isn’t a good fit for your project.
A great web designer will align the interface with your brand's colors, fonts, and identity, ensuring a memorable and compelling visual for users. They know where the content fits better, and are updated to the latest techniques of cross-browser testing and innovations in formatting language (markup), for example.
The icing on the cake is the perfect match between your web designer and your developer. They should be able to understand each other and be aware of their specific roles when building your website and solution. In this video, we explain how they can work together!
Hiring the perfect web designer
Now that you’ve done your research, your idea is clear, and you know what you need, there are a few things to pay attention to when hiring a web designer.
1. Proven data insights
The best professionals can showcase the results they delivered to previous clients. When recommending a design or any plugins and add ons, they should be able to prove why that’s important using relevant key performance indicators (KPI), like conversion, bounce rate, and traffic.
2. Listen to your ideas
Although you need to trust a professional’s opinion, you are the product manager, hence the person who knows your market best. The web designer should listen to your ideas and suggest solutions according to your needs. In other words, bring your ideas to life!
A web designer should consider your need to grow and expand your business. Suggesting a CMS and a host that will support evolving needs. That’s also why you need to present your strategy clearly in the design brief, so they aren’t misled.
4. A deal is a deal
Ensure that in the contract you have all the details like price, timeline, intellectual property rights, and deliverables. Alongside with the project plan, that will align expectations and responsibilities. These documents will protect and hold everyone accountable.
5. Regular followup
You should agree on regular followups, like weekly-basis, so you are updated about the project and make the best decisions and provide accurate feedback. As a product owner, you want to have the technical documentation for future reference.
6. After-launch and next steps
As we mentioned previously, some professionals will have a focus on UX design too. This makes them perfect for maintenance and working on the next version. So, remember to consider what other services they can provide and how it fits in your next steps.
The Impact of bad design on your product
Even in the very beginning, when you are supposed to keep things simple, it’s highly hiring a web designer, instead of turning to a DIY. Your website or application are investments, not costs. So, ensuring these are well built is very important so they can generate a return on investment (ROI).
Bad design isn’t just ugly, but it can seriously damage your brand credibility among customers. A professional and easy-to-navigate website, containing all important information about your business and a clear CTA is the least expected by your customers.
The lack of white spaces is also very confusing. When too much is going on in your page, users will simply leave, as they don’t seem to understand what is the point in there. Each page must have a clear objective and fit into your overall strategy.
When the design is overlooked in the early stages of development, the final result ends up disregarding human behaviors, offering a poor experience. It generates frustration in the final user, and keep you from converting your leads.
Hope this post has inspired you to think deeper about the design impact in your customer experience. Follow us on social media to get the best tips about entrepreneurship and tech management!