Everyone is looking for a good web designer… but do you ever wonder if you are a good client? Apparently not, given the number of designer blogs telling stories about frustrating clients.
Why is it important to be a good client (and I do not mean simply paying you bills on-time)? Well, it is not simply about preventing yourself from getting on someone’s “Worst Clients” list, it is also about getting the best website you can.
There is no question about it, if you want to have a great looking website, you need to communicate with your web designer efficiently and clearly, to offer feedback, to provide the content (text and photos), and so on. Today’s article will focus on how to be a good client. It will help you build and nurture a good relationship with your web designer and get the best website from your designer.
There are lots of clients who will only include a very vague presentation of what they want on their website and what they want it to do. Some simply don’t know what they want and look to their web design firm to think for them. Others believe that if they leave out specific details their designer will feel free to be super creative and create something extraordinary, beyond their expectations.
This is not how a good client-designer relationship works. You are responsible to help give your designer clear guidelines on what you’re looking the website to do for you. The designer will guide you using their expertise but cannot read your mind. If you have specific brand colors, for example, you should provide a sample of the exact colors that should be used.
Web designers can only move so far through the website creation process using just ‘sample’ content. Text, photos, audio and video materials must be provided by the client. The more organized you are with your content, the better the designer will be able to lay it out for you (and deliver it on-time).
Attention: you must own the copyright for all of your content! You cannot take photos from Google Images, this can lead to legal issues and it’s a huge headache.
Web designers usually give their clients access to the ‘work in progress’ website on their own servers. This makes it easy for you to check the progress of your site at any time.
Feedback from you during the website process is very important, but to prevent from interrupting your web designer’s progress, only provide feedback when it is requested (or when something new comes up).
Remember that you hired a designer, not an automated design machine that works at your command. You pay for talent, ideas, and execution. You can suggest a change in color, or the removal of a graphic element you do not like, but look to them for when you should provide feedback.
A web designer is not a dreamy artist, but a dedicated professional. Trust their judgment and choices in design and respect them as a professional. Would you go to your dentist and tell him which tooth he should pull out, or go to a car mechanic and tell him how to replace your brakes? Probably not. So why would you do this with your web designer?
There are reasons why one web designer works for $10 per hour and another for $100 per hour. If you want skill and quality you should be prepared to pay for them.
If you select a designer on the low-end price range, have realistic expectations about the final product. They’re probably not as experienced as a more expensive web designer — which could means they can’t guide you as well with your website and it may not turn out as well as it could. Apply your common business judgment in appreciating the type of work you can expect for each price range and you will not suffer from disappointments.
The core of any good client-designer relationship is communication and respect. Set your expectations clear right from the beginning and don’t leave any hazy issues undiscussed. Every successful web design project requires team work, and by being a good client, you have contributed a big part in the success of the project.
Ready to be a good web design client?
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