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How to work with your website designer

Do you know what is the most dreaded brief I ever receive? “you’re the expert, I’ll leave it to you”.

Reading that makes my heart sink because I know it means a long drawn out project full of idea changes, unrealistic expectations, wasted time, higher costs and frustration all round. Yes I am the “expert” ( a very comparative term) BUT … you are the customer. It’s your business, club or personal interest and at the moment I have no idea what is inside your head. I could spend weeks trying to guess and match your ideal but that really is the wrong way to go about things. I hate guessing games, and when your invoice arrives so will you!

The website building process

The actual build of a website is the fastest and most mechanical part of the whole process. What takes time and eats up deadlines is lack of communication between the designer and the client.
We all have our individual taste and preferences and that is highly subjective and personal . So you (the client) needs to let the designer know what your likes and dislikes are.

At first you may not have a clear idea of how your site should look and that is quite understandable so the best way to arrive at that finished design is to look at other sites to see elements that appeal to you. I always advise new clients to do just that; browse the net and note any sites that catch your eye. It may be just a colour scheme, the style of layout or the way a video is placed. Whatever it is, take note, copy the URL and start to create a list of those sites. When I receive such a list I know we’re on the right road and I can start to get a clearer idea of what you, the client are looking for.

Create a web mock-up

From that list of parts I can create a mock-up guided by your preferences. This is an exciting and crucial part of the project because, for the first time we will have something onscreen to look at and to use as a basis for your site. We can alter elements, change colours, move things around, tweak layouts and so on, easily and accurately together on the phone or face to face. Very quickly we will start to see a cohesive and individual design appear, a design that is yours alone and reflects your character and style. … NOT an off the shelf template we see over and again.

Once we have something on screen it makes the process a lot easier. We can all see the progress and make clear decisions about the subtle changes we need to make. In this case a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Be precise with colours, fonts etc

find hex colours

So, do all you can to show your designer what you want. If you want “blue” then show the exact shade of blue you want. There are millions of blues from “darkest midnight” to “baby powder blue” so find the one you want so that it can be sampled and given an exact value to use throughout your site.

See a font you like? Tell the designer so that it can be identified, and, if suitable, used in your site.

Finally remember why you hired a designer in the first place. You wanted a skilled person with genuine knowledge and experience in the field to guide you along the best route to achieving what you want in your website. If you overrule your designer you are wasting your money. You must accept that whilst web design is hugely flexible it also has to conform to certain standards if it is to work well for you. Listen to your designer and trust their advice. A good designer will bring to bear all the skills they have to give you what you want within those constraints.

Any questions on creating your new web site … give me a call any time on 07788 931 511. It costs nothing to ask.

Bye for now Paul

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