Tags: Web designer

Read this before you get your next Web designer!

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To enable your product or brand to get the recognition it so rightly deserve,starts by the selection of a professional and suitable web agency or IT Company to handle the task of creating the right web design for your organization.

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The selected company must have the experience to deliver your sales message efficiently and effectively to your target market. Designing a website demands skill and experience to grab the attention of the visitor and not get them bouncing off to a competitor site. To make the selection easier a checklist can come in extremely handy. This checklist must contain all the questions you have to select a committed partner designing your site. It is not only about design but it is about functionality and ultimately to boost your brand and bring in customers which ultimately means bringing profits. This is most often overlooked by web design companies in Singapore as well as the rest of the world!

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The internet will provide millions of sites promoting similar products or services and to become effective your site must contain elements that makes it different and demanding the attention of the visitors. The website must contain and present the following key elements to warrant your investment and remain an efficient business tool.

It must adhere to the below or else don’t waste your time with the chosen web designer.

  • Good design to showcase your brand and identity
  • Keep the interest of the visitor and prevent them from bouncing ( leaving the site) too fast.
  • Have a coherent structure for increased visitors
  • Ability to have stickiness which means great content
  • Proper methodology to bring leads and convert to customers
  • Do remarketing or retargetting to the ones who had visited
  • Be able to set your site apart from the competition by design and functionality
  • Allow changes to be made continuously and easily
  • Able to be adaptable to latest browsers
  • Ability to adapt to different devices as more people are coming online through mobile and tablets.
  • Site or articles must be shared socially easily
  • Have a sitemap which must be submitted to Google
  • Use best practises for web development

 A professional and committed web design team will study the offerings of the company and design a site with novel features.Creating a checklist is the most effective way to judge the basic competence of the web design team selected and the way they approach new projects. The questions must be set in a way to steer clear of technical jargon.

Determine the capabilities of the agency

This first step should give you access to their portfolio of completed projects. Ask questions to determine the reason for designing the sites, what considerations went into the planning stages of the design and whether it fitted with the concept of their clients.

Discuss their thoughts on branding your offering

This is normally among the questions asked after finding that they may be able to handle the project.What are their thoughts on how to brand your product? They must be able to understand the basic concepts of branding and marketing. They must understand the core demographics and how this will relate to marketing your brand.

Establish the amount of preparation the agency has done on your brand before the meeting. They must have a concise idea of who the potential visitors are and what site they frequent. They must have identified your target audience. This means that they should have researched competitor sites, identified some features that made these sites appealing and how to interact with the potential visitors. They must have done some research on your current site if you have or share valuable insights of other trends etc. if you don’t have.

Beauty or Brains?

While many people emphasise on design, you must understand that design is NOT the most important thing. It is secondary to functionality and purpose. What is the site for in fact? Is it to just impress or is it to bring more customers? Naturally if you are a business it is the latter. While we are not discounting the fact that beauty is alright but it does not carry much weight as today’s designers are competent enough to conjure great designs but designs will not bring customers per se but its the architecture and functional purpose tha does. A great looking flash website was the trend just a few years ago but now no one is using it. A lot of it is due to the intro of smartphones and flash is not compatible with Mac and Apple devices and the penetration rate via smartphones have reached a new height that many have proclaimed that FLASH IS DEAD! For instance what is the use of having a nice fancy million dollar boutique but it is located in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. In other words, what is the use of having a great site with little or no accessibility features. At the end of the day , want leads, we want customer and we want sales! Get your site to do that and get a company who understands this! Marketing can be done via SEO, SEM, Social media , email marketing as well as conversion strategies.

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Thoughts on the design details of the site

These questions must be formulated to demonstrate their capabilities to create a site that is modern and usable. Answers give to questions such as the following could be used to gauge their capabilities:

  • How would our site or a specific feature of the site work in terms of responsive design?
  • What are their thoughts of the next big trend in web design?
  • What do they understand of the flat or skeuomorphic design debate?

 Their ability to handle Technical difficulties

Again these questions are asked when the client is totally satisfied that the agency has passed the criteria up to this point as a potential designing agency for their website.

A number of questions should be ask to ensure that the agency is capable of handling difficulties and able to provide the service desired for a perfect web site design.

Some popular and relevant questions are:

  • What does your typical full stack look like?
  • When different technologies are used and why is it important or not?
  • What are the requirements for support needed on the website?
  •  Can we change coding?
  • What abilities or skills are required for coding changes to the site?

To ensure that your web sites remain current the options must be available to change content and coding at a reasonable cost. The best way is to use own staff to keep the website trendy and modern.

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Discussion on practical problems to may be encountered

These final questions are designed to determine the way your new agency deals with problems that may occur. Although most of the basics should be contained in the employment contract, they must be able to give you an idea on how unforeseen and practical problems will be handled.

Question such as:

  • What is expected time period for the site to go live?
  • What is the cost implications regarding regular or annual updates?
  • What is the scale of required updates that is charged additionally?
  • Is any cosmetic update included as part of the original fee structure?
  • Who owns the copyright of the completed design used in the site?
  • Is the copyright signed over to you as part of the employment contract?

Only once all these questions or issues have been answered can you get a fair idea of what the capabilities of the agency cover. It will to some extend highlight their capacity, inventiveness and how creative their ideas are to produce a website that will capture and hold the attention of visitors.

Once satisfied the next step is to sign the contract and commission them to start working on your new functional website. If the answers are not to your satisfaction it may require searching for another agency capable of handling your site design.

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Asking and demanding answer is the most effective way to select from amongst the many available agencies the one that will become your trusted partner in creating a website to suit your image and do your brand justice. Your designer can be your lifeline as he makes or breaks your online presence which now is very important!

Don’t just choose someone for their portfolio. Anyone can do a nice website nowadays but ensure you choose someone who understands your business and can provide you what you need rather than what you want. The company should genuinely want to help you in your business and able to generate and convert leads which is a must in today’s day and age!