So, I was checking the Boagworld Forums for more awesome and useful things, as I do just about every day, when I came across this post:
Hi All, I am building a new online product for which I require a web designer. I have not built such a product on my own, so I would like to know how I should go about finding such an individual who is a right fit for me and my endeavour. Any advice would be much appreciated.
It had been posted the day before, and it didn’t have any replies, so I gave it one. I ended up being so happy with that reply that I gave it its own blog post. Here it is:
“Heh… The temptation to self-promote… but never mind.
You’ll want to start by looking at their work. Aesthetics are important, but don’t judge a designer solely on whether his websites and apps “look cool”. Try using some of them. If you find that they’s easy to use and navigate, if you can find what you need quickly, then you have a winner!
Next, you’ll want to see if he’s already made something similar in nature to what you want to build. Experience counts, after all.
If you contact a designer or developer, and they just kinda say “whatever you say” and don’t get involved in the planning process, look elsewhere. A good craftsman cares about his work to no end. A good designer will involve himself in the planning stage of the project, and help you figure out what works on the web and what doesn’t.
Look for a designer who communicates well and clearly. This isn’t a prerequisite for being a good designer, but it will make the whole project happen a lot more smoothly
Look for a designer or developer (or agency, even) who offers long-term support options. If something goes wrong, it’s best if the people who made the project can look it over. This is unless you’re looking to hire an in-house team, in which case you’ve got this taken care of.
In addition: there are a couple of things you’ll have to do in order to retain the services of such a marvelous individual(s) when you find him(her/them).
- Provide them with all of the information they ask for. You wouldn’t believe how often a project has stalled because clients weren’t forthcoming with vital info. Communicate your intentions and desires as clearly and simply as possible, but have more details ready for the time when you will inevitably be asked for them.
- Have your content ready / functionality planned. As I said, a designer can help you plan this bit out, but get it done as soon as possible. You can’t do good design unless you know what information or options that this design needs to present.
- Be ready to listen to your designer. We can be an opinionated lot, and if we haven’t had our coffee yet, we can even be a little abrasive. Hopefully, you won’t run into this at all, but even if you do, please don’t take it personally.We usually have very good reasons when we tell you something doesn’t look right, won’t work, or doesn’t look good.
These are the best ideas I can share off the top of my head. Wait around a little while longer, and I’m sure that the other members of the community will come up with more.”
I did forget one little thing, soe Doug Stewart fixed that for me with this reply of his own:
Ezekielbruni covered most of the major points so I’m going to add only one myself:
“How do you get to the Met? Money.”
- Robin Williams
Same applies for designers. The best ones cost good money.