Web design doesn’t have to be a big hassle for small businesses. With a little homework and a lot of constructive dialog, and the right designer, your business can achieve an impressive web presence. The following tips are key recommendations to improve your small business website design.
1. Client Service
A brilliant programmer who doesn’t return calls isn’t the right choice for a small business with limited time and resources. You’ll need someone who can communicate in an effective and timely manner. All the brilliant designs in the world won’t help your business unless they make it onto your website. Your designer should be responding within a set time, usually within a work day- they should actively check phone messages and emails. Offering clients the opportunity to chat live or set-up a meeting using a web portal is a huge asset and time saver.
Additionally, when you communicate with the designer, be sure you’re making clear when something is urgent. If your designer is constantly dropping everything to answer non-essential emails they aren’t using anyone’s time well.
2. Up on Current Technology
In 2012, over 10 percent of all web browsing is expected to be done from mobile platforms, like smartphones. Pinterest is the fastest growing social network right now. What does all that mean for you?
It’s important for designers to understand current trending technology. They should be able to educate you about what is currently available, what is hopelessly outdated and what is a standard-issue. A good designer will evaluate your expectations against the technology available and recommend the best tools for the job. Ask potential designers about their knowledge and implementation of SEO best practices. A page full of useless widgets isn’t good content, ask for functionality and let the designer figure out the technology.
3. Good Workflow
While it’s important to create a strategy before the designer begins creation, maintaining a consistent workflow will ensure you reap the benefits of the design in a timely manner. Knowing where the project is, where it has been and where it’s going will save precious time from being wasted.
Seek a designer who is comfortable documenting each step in the design process and maintaining records of why changes were made. Looking at the evolution of a project can be overwhelming, so establish a timeline for proofreading and approval. This actively transparent workflow will promote progress and limit problems derived from miscommunication.
4. Challenge your Creatively
No comprehensive design project will be easy. A good designer welcomes the opportunity to field tough questions, pushes you to find out exactly what you’re asking for and looks for ways to integrate their expertise while meeting your needs.
Don’t say you want a simple blue. Say you want it to be young and bright and fun and let the designer figure out how to do that. Think about your audience. What kind of car would they drive, would they use an ipod or a record player or a radio to listen to music. Sometimes details that aren’t visually focused can give designers the best idea of what you really want.
Content was contributed by Guy Schumaker
Guy is a freelance writer and editor. He loves exploring the technology sector and spends his weekends developing new apps.