Hiring the right web professional for your project(s)…they should have a extensive understanding of the technical process, but the best ones will be honest about what the essential fundamentals are. Furthermore, I would like to share some of my ideas on how the design process works, some of the things the professional you hire should be thinking about when building your website.
At the beginning of a project, a good web professional will ask a lot of questions. This isn’t because they’re inattentive, it’s because they are trying to discover what problem your website is trying to solve. There’s a perception that web design is (only) or all about the creative process, and of course a portion of it is, but a good part of it is problem solving. In order to transform an idea into a fully developed product, the designer gathers as much information as possible at the initial stage. This saves vast amounts of time, and may even unravel things about the project(s) that were unknown to the client and the designer beforehand.
Asking questions in this initial stage
*Who is the intended audience?
*What do you want the web site to do for your company?
*Who is your target audience?
*What image do you want to portray?
*If you have branding what colors, fonts, styles do you use?
*What do you absolutely want on the site?
(This list could include blog, shopping cart, gallery, contact forms, advertising space, different languages, search facility, etc.)
*What would you like within budget?
*What absolutely must be on the homepage and what is the order of priority? (This is a core question and you should allow the client time to ponder and discuss this with you.)
*What must be visible at all times?
*How many links will be needed and how many levels of navigation will there be?
*Do your competitors use something on their site that you really like?
(Could be navigation structure, form layout etc.)
*What do you offer that the competition doesn’t?
(This often makes the client think about his own business in a new way and I’ve started a new path for a few businesses with this one!)
*List 5 general sites that they like and why do they like them?
(This could be navigation method, color scheme, fonts etc.)
*Do you have any text/copy/graphics/Logos for the site?
*Will they be supplying the text in a ready to go copy/paste format or will someone have to input all their text into the site from paper etc. Likewise will we need to outsource all the imagery from other sources or do they have their own graphics that need to be included.
*Will we need to input all the links?
*Will you require space on pages for external/internal advertising (If yes what types)?
*When do you want it finished and who is going to be updating the pages?
*What is their level of experience?
*What are your main products and/or services?
*What are the main categories of information you want to publish?
*Product or service descriptions?
*How would you like to communicate with your visitors?
There are three responses to a piece of Design-
YES, NO, AND WOW! WOW is the one to AIM for. ~Milton Glaser