A website is a vital tool in modern day business to representing your brand and business online. I liken it to a digital business card on steroids, as well as the face of your business.
A web design consultant will work with you in order to produce an appropriate look/feel of your website. This includes items such as color selection based off your branding, layouts of pages, functionality, and goals for your website. Next, your web design consultant will create wireframes, or page schematics to act as a visual guide that represents the skeletal framework of a website. Your web design consultant should be knowledgable about concepts like calls-to-action, organizing your site’s content, and setting up layouts that will meet your goals for the site.
Here is a list of the top 5 things to seek when selecting your web design consultant.
1. Do you like the designer’s style match the way I’d like my site to look?
Evaluate your designers’ portfolio, taking note of things like layouts, colors, and logos and client types. If you are impressed with their overall aesthetic and style, it may be a good fit.
2. Who is going to develop the site and how does that effect the pricing?
Some consultants may work with a preferred developer and the price may include both the design and development. Other web design consultants will provide you with all the design assets to deliver to a developer of the client's selection. Another method is the web design consultant will use platforms such as Squarespace, WordPress, Weebly, or Wix and can completely bypass the need for a developer all together. All methods are effective, but you will want to have this discussion initially.
3. Are there any ongoing maintenance fees involved?
Websites are just like a living entity, they must be kept current buy updating content, including: blog posts, new projects, news, photography, employees and business data. If you or an employee has the time and enough technical prowess to manage the updates you will be able to save yourself the fees of making the updates.
4. What design files will I receive at the project finish?
There are a number of softwares used for creating wireframes, the most popular being: Sketch, Adobe Experience Design, Balsamiq, or Visio. The page layout mockups can be produced in a variety of software including: Sketch, Photoshop, or Fireworks. You can request that all the files be provided in PDF format so your team may view the files without having the specific software installed.
5. How will revisions or changes be handled? What are the costs?
When you hire a web designer, you agree on the terms of the project via a written contract. You'll want to establish the cost of changes that come down the road and the availability of your web design consultant in the future.
Knowing what you want/need in terms of looks and functionality as well as the scope of your project are key in finding the professional who is best qualified to help you.