How to Choose the Best Web Designers

We have put together a list to assist you in making the proper decision as you hire a web designer.

Know the bottom line

If your site is mostly e-commerce your concentration will be on ROI (return-on-investment), maintaining and building your client base, as well as conversion of sales.

If you’re launching a new business and you have to brand awareness, you’ll merely be offering education and information in regard to your products or services. Therefore, in this instance, a clear focus and good visibility is required.

Identify a strong track record

This isn’t necessarily how long the firm has been in business. As a matter of fact, lots of new businesses have some new methodologies and stellar ideas to consider. Here, the point is how much a firm knows your field and have they efficiently generated a likewise solution to their additional clientele?

What should you do? Ask the company for client testimonials, performance data, and one or two case studies that demonstrate how they measure results and their approach.

Learn and communicate

As you begin a discussion with them, they ought to be on your side, and work hard to discuss what they do, how they do it and more importantly why they’re doing it. If you’re ever lost or confused by any portion of the discussion, it isn’t your fault… it is theirs.

What should you do? Ask the company questions about their methodologies, their process, and why they’re making specific decisions or recommendations. If you do not understand an aspect of the project, ask. Absolutely, it’s up to you to conduct your own research; however, you never should feel as if you are in the dark regarding the investment.

Recognize content is your issue

You undoubtedly need to come up with your very own reasons for either a re-launch or makeover of a new website. The first thing which comes to mind is how the site functions and looks. Of course, these are critical factors; however, the most crucial factor that is more than likely overlooked is the content.

What should you do? Use the content to assist your clients. Content is everything from written copy to the videos and images and more. The web agency you choose should be talking content before they talk art. If anything, they ought to be in touch with your copy-writers or marketing team if they aren’t developing the content themselves.

Sustain the quality of your investment

Upon launching your new website, a reputable firm will sustain a healthy relationship with you. Depending upon how involved you are with the publishing and maintenance of content, an excellent agency will help you in your analytic reporting as well as make sure that your site is assisting you in reaching your goals.

What should you do? Before you hire a web designer ask about their ongoing, existing relationships. How are they helping other customers? Do they have ongoing services or maintenance plans on a quarterly or monthly basis which you’re able to sign up for?

In Search of a Good Web Designer

In choosing a designer, you have to think if you want to work side by side, or you can work from a distance and communicate via phone. Some factors you need to consider in hiring a website designer are the following:

Do they ask you a lot of questions about your business? They should be interested to know more about your business. Since they will design a website that represents your brand, they should spend time to know it better.

Visit the sites they have created to know if they are your type of designs. Do all of them have a particular feel, or they are also flexible when it comes to their designs?

Ask them if they did everything, from the programming to the actual layout and graphic work.

If they do not do graphic work, ask if they can to refer you to a graphic artist.

Do they follow a process that is planned well and which brings you all throughout the design phase? Will they keep a record of the things that were discussed and decided on?

Are they familiar with SEO and Internet Marketing? Make sure that the site they are creating will be able to meet your bigger business and marketing needs. (A visually appealing website is useless if it does not generate income).

Ask about the designer’s fees, including the estimated price of the site they will create. However, you first have to discuss the features and content that you like for them to be able to provide a good estimate. Certainly, it would cost more to include autoresponders, a blog, email address setup, logo design, membership site, newsletter, SEO or shopping cart (or if you have several web pages).

Ask about billing. Do you have to give a deposit? Will they give you an invoice every month or when reaching certain milestones?

Check if they will stay within your budget, or if they will suggest add-ons that will increase the price of your website. Always keep in mind that you are responsible for your budget and not the designers.

Visit some of their past and present clients and ask about the process. You want to hire somebody with good communication and project management skills. They should pay attention to what you like and not just give advice. Also, they should communicate with you in a well timed manner via emails and phone calls.

Will they continue to maintain your site even after creating it and how much will it cost? There are designers that only want to create websites, but do not maintain them. If you want to maintain it for a lower price, you can hire a virtual assistant or VA to do the job, provided that he/she has website programming skills. Know the types of programming used in your site. This way, it would be easier to find someone to update it.

Web Design Mistakes You Should Not Make

Giving More Importance to Style than Substance

Though using cool design elements may be great, you are not sure whether these elements effectively express the site’s message. This is something that needs to be addressed. It is not a good idea to choose design elements just because they are cool. You should also choose based on their capability to meet the standards of web usability. This way, these elements will work with your web design concept and uphold your conversion ratio.

Always keep in mind that it is not the design’s coolness that will increase conversion, but all design elements joined together to serve a bigger purpose, which happens to be, better conversions.

Too Much Text on your Website

At this time, we want to talk about the text that seems to be too long. Some people think that adding long blocks of text on their site will improve the conversion rate, but it does not. In fact, it is difficult to read, and visitors sometimes find them boring. For a site to convert, you have to make sure that your content is readable and separated into shorter paragraphs with bullet points. Visitors should be able to go through the text with ease to find the important information they need. This is a means to improve both user engagement and conversion ration of website.

Exclusion of Color as a Design Element

You may not be considering color as a critical element in your page layout, but only as an addition. If this is so, you do not have the right design priorities since you are not aware that color is one design element that has a great effect on conversions. It is unfortunate, though, that it has been downgraded to just being a decorative element on a lot of websites.

Colors are often associated with different emotions. The right color combination helps in creating the kind of emotion you want in your design. To make sure that designers are able to include colors as an essential part of your website design process, they have to be clear when it comes to color theory.

Inconsistencies

The style used in designing your website should be consistent in all of your web pages. It would look disorganized when your content, headers and others have different features across the website. For instance, when the sub-header is red on a particular page and has a different color on other pages, this inconsistency will be very noticeable and can easily distract people. Design elements plus their sizes can be mixed and matched, but for a good reason. If this is done just because you do not have the time to keep consistent styling, you might as well expect a negative result.

Too Much of Textual Content

This is a lot more different than long blocks of text, since having too much of textual content is filling your website with text to the edge, and this is certainly not pleasing to readers. Here, a variety of blocks whatever their size may be are competing with each other to catch the attention of visitors from all corners. This causes confusion and leads to conversion disaster. The main reason to add the most important text on a page is because it is share-worthy.

Traits a Graphic Designer Needs to Succeed

When you want to succeed as a graphic designer, this can happen with the help of never-ending new gadgets, great apps and social media sharing. How about the other things with no monetary value?

In addition to talent, a graphic designer needs to possess the following qualities, characteristics and mindset to make it in this continuously evolving industry:

Communication

The job of a designer is not only to communicate the ideas, story and brand of a client, but also to present his work, as well as negotiate for it. A designer should always be professional in all situations and be transparent with a client.

Curiosity

You should love art and be curious about the world that surrounds you to make a name in design. A designer loves to look further than the surface, explore the tiniest detail as well as the overall view.

Passion and Drive

You won’t be in a creative industry if you are not passionate about what you do. However, besides passion and talent, this is a labor of love. Certainly, this involves working during odd hours, tricky workloads, long revisions and unusual briefs. You have to be passionate enough to continue even if you are worn out because your passion could further improve your work. From the beginning, you need to have that drive and learn to manage time and balance projects.

Openness

You need to be open-minded as a graphic designer, and be willing to try fresh things, as well as be comfortable about listening to suggestions from other sources. The work of great designers usually reflects part of them, so go ahead and show what you feel.

Accepts Criticism

Though this may be difficult, designers should learn how to cope with criticism. They should be good at following directions to improve their work and develop good communication skills. This is a developing process, which often yields positive results in the long run.

Problem Solving

Aside from enjoying the aesthetic facet of design, the problem solving can be fun as well. Graphic designers have to plan carefully and think critically to succeed in a project. They have to be creative to create something great by putting together all the pieces, and transforming their ideas into the final product.

Self-doubt

In the world of design, it could be good to doubt yourself every once in a while. This means you continue to evaluate your decisions and strive harder for the best. Questioning and challenging yourself is a healthy practice.

Reliability

More than being talented, clients are looking for reliable designers. Therefore, it is imperative for a designer to be reliable, consistent, trustworthy and good at managing clients’ needs. This will result to a long and rewarding working relationship.

Evolution

No one knows everything. So, designers should continue to learn and welcome new ideas. They should try new technology and share their thoughts with others in the industry.

The Impact of Web Design in Your Online Marketing

A lot of business executives do not realize the value of web design when it comes to marketing performance. In fact, it can lead to the success or failure of your campaign, particularly if you do online marketing. Your company marketing could catch the attention of viewers and make them take action, but your web design determines if they will make the purchase.

Some powerful arguments that prove that design is important in a marketing campaign are as follows:

According to studies, 75% of Internet users say, that based on a business website’ design they could tell whether a business is credible. Apparently, people tend to buy from businesses that have a good credibility. If your website has a poor design, it is more likely for you to lose customers. Therefore, you have to make sure that your website reflects your business as legitimate and trustworthy with the help of a good quality design.

One more strong argument with regard to web design is that is directly influences conversion. Making some changes in the web page design elements for a marketing campaign can greatly improve conversion. In terms of advertising channels, just a little improvements in conversion can let you rise above competition. When you gain more profits from advertising, you can invest in more ads and force out other promoters.

Even if you advertise offline, people will search online to look into your website. This shows that your website serves just like a digital business card. You have to be sure that your web design also reveals your marketing efforts. When a visual presentation is not organized, your marketing will not have the impact as you expect it to be. So, it is best for your design to be consistent, so the conversion of prospects will continue from the first contact offline.

When it comes to continuing the conversion, make sure that your website clearly states your brand’s message. Since a visual presentation plays a big role in your brand’s core message, your web design should be able to convey a lot about your brand. In essence, you would want your website to leave a good first impression that lasts.

The design is not merely a website’s visual presentation, but it is much more than that.

Web design is made up of site architecture, user interface and the usability that are beneath the surface. Once you improve these aspects, it will lead to a longer time spent on site, lower abandon rate, more referrals and improved conversion. You have to exert more effort in improving these aspects of design to make the most of your marketing campaign results.

Now that you have gone through the abovementioned points, you already know the importance of web design in a marketing campaign. It has a direct and indirect effect on a campaign’s effectiveness. For this reason, opting for a quality design is a wise investment if your site is not doing too well as of the moment.

Designing Your Website to Satisfy Your Target Audience

With any business, the target audience is the demographic of people who are expected to show interest in what your business can offer. Finding your target audience is an important step in advertising to the right customers and drawing in potential clients. Did you know that designing your website to appeal to your target audience can increase your business growth as well? If you haven’t developed an idea of who your target audience is, designing an effective website can be a stab in the dark and a waste of time and money. So, how do will you know where to begin as you create a vision for your businesses’ website?

Finding Your Target Audience

The first step in growing your business through web design is identifying the demographics of your target audience. What do they like? What do they do? How old are they? Where do they live? What language do they speak? These are all great questions to start with as you move towards targeting customers that will invest in your product. You need to build a foundation that will relate to customers who intend to buy your products. If your target audience is broad, it is important to find a common ground.

All of this can be accomplished by asking the right questions and doing research. Asking questions can also be a great way to make connections with your customers. For products that are purchased on a more personal level, asking direct questions to the consumer can be a great way to develop your target audience. Large volumes of products can be tracked by sending customers surveys after purchases. Once you have pinned down your target audience, you can get creative with your website design.

Build Off the Basics

A great website design must always start with the basics. You need to create a balance that works for your audience. Focus on a layout that will appeal to their style without taking away from what your website is trying to deliver to customers. Starting with the basics of web design will bring order and cleanliness to your site which will leave customers’ visual perception of your website design a positive one.

Once you have gone through the basics, it’s time to get creative and draw in your target audience. Highlight what your company can offer. Focus on why your customers come to your site and use that as the foundation of your unique design. Clients depend on the visuals of your business. Research what is trending when it comes to design and your niche market. Focus on building a design that is eye catching and sleek.

The best way to build an effective website is to look at is as an extension of your business. When you focus on it this way, your website becomes an effective communication tool that develops a relationship between your business and your customer. Customers who understand that your business wants to deliver them the best customer service will not only keep coming back, they will bring new customers with them.