If you were a website developer yourself, you wouldn't need the services of one. You would craft your website to beautifully present your corporate face; to be your product’s best display case, and to showcase the telling of your grand corporate story. Unfortunately, to many website developers, your website is simply a project for them to complete.
Hiring a website design professional is imperative these days, because the available site options are limitless and constantly evolving, and because the competition in your industry is fierce and getting fiercer. Understanding that a good website design can boost your business to the next level, and all the levels beyond, also means accepting that you are not qualified to be your website design professional. However, the professionals you hire to create it must be as sensitive to the aspirations of your corporate personhood as you are.
Web Site Design Processes Can Create Their Own Challenges:
There are lots of reasons why websites fail to produce the metrics to justify their development expense, many of which are a combination of both client and developer confusions:
1. Clients are looking for a visual and interactive account of their idea. Developers must craft visuals and components based on (often) ethereal commentary. Communication well before the design process begins can ease the connection between idea and end result.
2. Clients may have preconceived notions about how the site can function, without actually understanding the programming of the systems. Again, communication from both sides – what the client wants to see and what the developer can produce in response – is integral to finally getting it right.
3. Clients may want to control all aspects of the process, without accepting any but the most menial of input from the developer. A website that satisfies the client AND accomplishes the goals it is designed to achieve should be a collaboration between client and developer.
Excellent Website Design Processes Respond to Corporate Challenges:
As you contemplate your site's design options, there are a few concrete steps you can take into the first conversation:
1. Establish your goals:
Your goals will depend on the nature of your enterprise and how you want it to connect with your target market. Do you want to convert more customers? Provide valuable information? Expand your product base? Your website should carry the message of your enterprise mission – why you got into the business in the first place. Your developer should first understand the corporate back story, to better understand and connect with your website goals.
2. Identify Your Limits:
Unless you are really clear about what you do want, it can be difficult for the designer to understand what you don’t want. So be prepared to discuss the “do not do” list, too. The conversation can be about site specifics – no pop-up ads or left-column videos, for example – or more general concerns, like third- versus first-person text, or the location of testimonial pages.
Being open to developer suggestion is also a strong indicator of a true collaboration. The designer may have a programming option that creates exactly what (s/he hears you saying) you want, but because you don’t know his/her full arsenal of tools, you can’t know how valuable her/his suggestions might be. In other words, don't put your limits on development assets you don't yet understand.
3. Set a Flexible Budget:
Website design has cost features associated with it, of course, but its value is so much bigger than the dollar/per/hour ratio. The end product should be a manifestation of your entire corporate self, which is priceless. The return on the development investment may pay that expense back several times over, much more quickly than you can anticipate. And considering that digital marketing comprised only 28% of all marketing spending in 2014, an energized website might reveal the obsolescence of your other, non-digital outreach efforts, cutting those costs and saving you money overall.
You run an excellent company and are master of your enterprise. Hire a professional to ensure its internet face is as polished and functional as you need it to be. To get started, contact us today.