When your organization needs a new website, it’s as simple as choosing the right web design agency, writing a check, and waiting for them to present you with the finished product…right?
Actually, there are many other steps along the way that require your involvement. Given that there are so many articles out there (on our blog and others) about finding the perfect web design agency, we thought we’d give you some insights into the other side of the coin.
Specifically, we want to tell you how to be a good web design client.
You might be thinking, understandably, that you aren’t really that worried about making life easier for your design team. However, the better you are as a client, the easier it’s going to be to create the perfect web presence for you.
With that in mind, let’s look at eight ways you can help your web design team do a better job for you.
#1 Know What You’re Looking For
Some web design clients come into the process knowing exactly what they want their website to look like. That’s fine, but it isn’t what we are referring to here. Instead, we advise you to think about the specific outcomes you want to create. What are your organization’s goals?
Describe your best customer and the number of increased leads, donations, etc. that would make your new design a “win.”
#2 Identify Your Stakeholders
It’s critical to determine stakeholders for your project. Bringing new team members into the process while it’s in flight is difficult because new people will not have the insight on how and why a decision was made. If there are team members that will be involved in the big milestones like a design reveal, let your digital team know so they can help you successfully bring new faces into the fold.
#3 Be Open with Your Budget and Schedule
Dealing with constraints is part of the job. Limitations can be good. So, if you have a budget you want to stick to be clear about it. A good web design agency will be able to create something knowing that you’ll want to enhance your website with more functionality over time. We encourage our clients to take a gardener’s approach, constantly planting new ideas and adjusting the ecosystem of their digital presence.
At the kickoff (or before), let your digital team know if you have any upcoming responsibilities or commitments that will affect your schedule. Mentioning these details early in the process will help your team adjust important milestones and meetings. That way, your project will stay on track.
Some digital agencies like ArcStone will schedule regular weekly check-ins to keep projects humming along. Choose a time when you can focus on your project and not feel rushed to get to the next thing on your list.
#4 Participate in the Discovery Process
Some new clients want to rush through the discovery process and get straight to seeing new designs. That’s understandable, but it also makes it hard for your creative team to do good work for you. Until we understand the ins and outs of your organization, and what you’re trying to achieve, any work we submit is going to feel generic and underwhelming.
Depending on the scope of the project, this may involve team and customer interviews, user stories, and more. Trust us on this one.
#5 Carefully Consider Your Content (and Everything that Comes with it)
Clients often think that writing their own content will be a breeze. It’s not. If you’re thinking about writing your own content, consider the following:
Does your content need a complete overhaul or does it need a few updates here and there?
Do you have a team member who will be accountable for the content? Pick one person to oversee the process. They can delegate to others on the team but there should be one person who owns this part of the project.
Does your team have time to write the content?
Most times, it works best to leave the content to a professional who is used to writing for the web. At ArcStone, our writers and designers work together so your content informs your design and vice versa.
#6 Don’t Go Silent
We get it. Sometimes even when you plan, something unexpected comes up. If this situation arises for you, be up front and let your design team know. There may be things they can do while you’re out of commission to keep your project moving along.
#7 Give Prompt Notes and Revisions
You don’t have to give instant feedback and impressions when you see new web designs or features. However, you can do your design team (and your organization) a big favor by not taking too long to consider them. Momentum is a big deal when it comes to putting together a website. Your creative team will want to keep moving, so don’t leave them stuck waiting on opinions or approvals. If you have questions, ask them. There’s no such thing as a stupid question.
#8 Don’t Launch and Forget It
It’s easy to move on to the next thing once you launch your new site. If your site has a blog, make a commitment to regularly publish new posts. Remember, your visitors (and Google) like fresh content. If you are stretched too thin to create content, lean on a trusted expert like ArcStone. We’re happy to help!
Looking for the Right Digital Partner?
Finding the right digital partner to work with takes more than a willingness to dig through samples and compare quotes. You want a team that understands your organization with a strong portfolio and a track record of achieving real-world results.
If you want to get your search off on the right foot – and get answers to your most pressing digital design, development, and marketing questions – contact us today for a free consultation.