1. Clarify Project Objectives
Websites are big investments. So it’s important they do more than look pretty. They need to achieve business goals. As a business owner or marketing manager, there are two steps you can take to see this accomplished.
Firstly, you must define and discuss project objectives with your potential web designer before work begins. If possible, discuss the goals face-to-face or over the phone to avoid miscommunication.
Secondly, you can expect the developer to draw up a project plan. Once they have, ask them to explain the value of each deliverable they’re suggesting. From doing so you can make sure that each service is essential and ultimately determine if the agency is reliable/trustworthy.
2.0 What’s Content Without a Strategy?
When people land on a website, it’s the content that will either engage them to stay or send them away. And since keeping visitors is critical, nailing your content strategy should be right up there too.
Note: though information can be delivered through copy or an image alone, the most engaging content strategies combine both elements to effectively convey key messages.
To achieve this, many web designers will wireframe. The method allows them to play around with content composition before a website is built. What’s more, the product of wireframing is a blueprint for your website-to-be, which provides a great chance for clients to give initial feedback. For this reason, it’s worth partnering with a web designer who includes wireframing in their site building strategy.
3.0 Data is your Best Friend
Competing against other websites is near impossible if you aren’t tracking data. It’s the only way to pinpoint what’s damaging success, what’s increasing conversions, and from there formulate logical improvements. Here are two ways you can utilise data.
- If you already have a website, share its existing data with your web designer. They will use the data to discover what worked/didn’t and then shape your website accordingly.
- Don’t have data from a previous website to work with? Instead, get set to track and measure performance from the get-go so that adjustments can be made early on. We recommend using Google Analytics for gathering data and Hotjar for heat mapping.
4.0 Cater to the End-User
As exciting it may be to create futuristic and unorthodox websites, the end-user should always be considered first. After all, they’re the ones who all of this is for...
Catering to end-users is all about getting to know them. Beyond their age and occupations, you need to uncover what makes them tick.
Once you have a solid understanding, share the information with your web designer. They will use it to shape your website’s navigation, structure, tone of voice, and overall identity to build a great user experience for your audience. The richer the details you provide the more your website will cater to them.
5.0 Support all-inclusive usability
For decades the majority of websites haven't been usable by all people. This is in particular regard to those who are blind and/or deaf. Only in recent years has this issue been addressed seriously and subsequently changed how web designers of the modern world will go on to create.
Moving forward, it is essential all websites are developed with everyone in mind. This is important for equality and comes as an additional benefit to website owners - as with greater access you’re sure to increase leads.
To check that your website is being developed to support all-inclusive usability, ask your web developer about what they’re doing to make it so. Otherwise, you can also see Vox’s checklist for a rundown of what should be done.
Need a Hand? Let’s Talk
It’s not easy choosing a website developer/designer. In fact, sometimes the struggle can make people question doing it themselves. And by all means, try! But be wary that it’s not exactly an after-work activity. Leading websites are made by experts with years of knowledge.
Since founding Neon Hive in 2015, Jonathan continues to work passionately on both client and agency-side projects. With extensive industry experience and two first class honours bachelor degrees across finance and computer science, Jonathan brings a strategic and results driven mindset to helping clients transform and grow.