All of us who want to have a website will need to hire a web designer at some point in time. Maybe just for small bits of work or modifying a template or maybe a giant overhaul of the entire website. There are many articles across the internet which guide you on “how to select a good web designer” or “how to select a website development team”, but there isn’t much advice on how to conduct the relationship after you have made the right choice and hired the right team. This article explains how you can aid your website designer to give you the best output and ensure a long term relationship.
The most important aspect about choosing a web designer is promising not to interfere in his / her / their work. Web designers are professionals too. If you have followed the free advise available online on choosing the right designer, you might as well give them that space and let them work in peace. Sitting on their backs and pointing out each and every mistake and typo can really get on their nerves. Since you may already have a prejudiced view of how you want your website, it may be difficult for you to stand back and see the design from the point of view of your customers. The whole purpose of hiring a web designer is not merely to execute a design that you had in mind or one that you ripped off a competitors website, the point is to allow a dispassionate view of your business and how it should look online, from the angle of a third party. If you interfere, the whole purpose of hiring a professional is defeated.
Its best to make things absolutely clear so that there is no wiggle room for discrepancies and misunderstandings. If not make a formal written agreement whetted by a lawyer, atleast ensure that you get all the points in an email, confirmed by both parties. The worse thing that can affect your relationship is if you’ll are not on the same page about what needs to be done and what will be delivered. It gives clarity to the goal in mind and also enables the designer to work in that framework. Don’t let laziness or carelessness get the better of you. You may regret not having laid down the terms in black and white, incase things go wrong.
When a web designer promises to deliver a project in 6 months, he means 6 months without any changes or interference from your side. If you make changes and expect them to be incorporated in between, the 6 months will definitely stretch. Since designing is an art and skill, it may not be accurate for either party to predict the exact timeline for completion. it is best to mentally accept that it may take double the amount of time as compared to what was promised. If the designer says 6 months, then expect it to be done in 10 – 12 months as a safe figure. Its best to give that buffer time for unforeseen changes or unexpected modifications.
Being frank and honest with your web designer will keep both of you happy. If you don’t like a change or idea or mock up or layout, tell them. Don’t hesitate to express your opinion and get feedback about it. The designer may explain why that change needs to be there or the concept behind a certain design. After a healthy discussion you’ll can arrive at a mutually acceptable conclusion. Being honest with your designer is also very important. A designer we know, was once being harassed by his client, when the client would quietly delete files uploaded by the designer. The client claimed ignorance until his bluff was called out.
Designers are also professionals. They require as much respect as you would give your lawyer or doctor. Using threats or verbal abuses to extract more work or to speed up work can be very damaging to your relationship. Remember that your entire online presence depends on your designer’s integrity and dedication. Be professional and to the point. Ensure that all terms and condition are clear before the work starts, so that neither of you is upset when it comes to payments.
This is one of the most common complaints we have heard from web designers. Either their payments are delayed or their payments are cut down – sometimes even halved, for no justified reason. Many clients have a habit of retaining the last payment and using it to coerce the designer into doing some more work for free. Some clients even threaten to sue the designers and bind them into mindless litigation. Paying your design team on time will ensure that your relationship is a healthy one, without any ill feelings. Paying on time shows your professionalism and commitment to the project. It acts as a motivation for the designers.