Finding a good website designer is a daunting chore for any business—knowing what to look for is the key. However, there’s a formula to find and hire web designer; look into these qualities for every designer you review and you’re sure to find the one that’s right for you.
Look and Feel
In a blog published on Huffington Post, Casey Cavanagh, Freelance writer and editor living in NYC recommends you to carefully review your to make sure that you like their overall style.
While the best designers will have a great breadth of skill, there tends to be a pattern to the work they do; whether that pattern is choice of industry, color scheme or the overall styling of the sites they’ve built, make sure that it matches with the vision you have for your business.
You should also use this research as an opportunity to note what you don’t like in the design work of your prospective designer. It’s a rare thing for a designer to insist upon including an element the client specifically asks they avoid, but if you don’t know you want to avoid it before the design work starts then you could be in for weeks of grueling back and forth with your designer getting the issue fixed. Not knowing what you want is a problem, but not knowing what you absolutely don’t want could mean what would have been a small issue at the outset turns into a huge problem later in the design process.
Consistency in Design
This isn’t necessarily a reference to the designer’s style, but rather their quality of work. Every designer has a specialty, one area of design that they prefer and enjoy above all others, and as a result their skill in that area tends to be noticeably better than other areas. While a true professional is capable of balancing their work to maintain high quality work across all avenues, a less capable designer will have a portfolio with a dramatic variance in both style and quality.
When choosing a web designer for your business, make sure you’re getting one that maintains the kind of quality in all the work they do that you want to see in your own website.
Versatility in Design
You were just told to look for consistency, but as stated that’s not about looking for web design that looks the same from one website to the next. You need your business to stand out, and that means you need to find a designer who can offer a wide range of design styles.
You should make sure that the designer you’re interested in hiring is in touch with the modern trends, but not tied down by them. Their work should have a broad styling elements and impact visitors in different ways; watch for “dated” designs and effects in both recent and past work, as this shows an inability to foresee the direction design trends are heading and a lack of versatility in the face of major trend shifts.
Mobile Design Experience
Tablets and other mobile devices are gaining ground in web traffic stats faster than any web developer could possibly keep up—this means you need a web designer that understands how to optimize for mobile traffic, reveals John Kash in a blog published at Designhill.com. Either only seek out designers who specifically mention mobile optimization and offer tried and true examples of their work for mobile audiences, or bring up mobile design early in the conversation.
Specifically, you should be looking for website designers who offer responsive design over adaptive. While adaptive design offers a greater capacity for fine-tuning layouts on multiple resolutions, it’s also bound by the specific resolutions for which it’s been programmed, meaning that the next big Android device could force you to reprogram your entire website to match the new display. Responsive web design is fluid and changes to fit any display regardless of resolution, so this is the mobile optimization style most small businesses should seek out. Remember, as much as 60% of your web traffic could be mobile, so your site needs to be fully optimized for this growing browser audience.
Trust Your Instincts
The thing that truly makes a designer best for you, with other points in mind, is how you feel about him or her both as an individual and as a business owner. If you find yourself uncomfortable with their process, elements of their style or behavior, don’t put yourself through the pain of bringing them aboard only to terminate your contract a month or two later when their behavior gets to be too much. You need a designer that doesn’t just work for you, but with you; if you’re worried about the possibility of a personality clash, then it’s best to step back and find someone else. Even great design isn’t worth that kind of headache.
Of course, you could forego the possibility of the headache entirely by opting to crowd source your site design at graphic design contest sites! With professional designers waiting to review your project and always willing to work within your budget, crowd sourcing does the hard work for you. Instead of seeking out the perfect designer, put out a project and let the right designer come to you.