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You’ve hired a web designer to create an effective and attractive website that promotes your business. Of course, you need to play a role in the process of creating the website — but there’s a time to take control and a time to step back. Here’s what you can do to ensure that your project comes out looking great and better than expected.

Listen to your designer.

If you’ve decided to pay a professional to do a job for you, you owe it to yourself to listen to his or her professional input. There’s a lot more to effective web design than how large your logo appears or what exact shade of blue is used.

People hire professionals because they don’t know it all — that’s why you go to a mechanic when your “check engine” light comes on or call a plumber when your toilet starts leaking. If you could do a reasonably good job on your own, you would. There’s no shame in bringing in a professional to do what you can’t or don’t want to, but be sure to listen to your designer’s expertise. If you don’t trust your designer’s advice, you’ve hired the wrong person.

That said, you don’t have to just accept a design you don’t like. But do your best to be very specific about what’s not pleasing to you. Instead of, “Well, I don’t know, something’s not quite right. What if we used green instead of blue?” try to analyze the usability and effectiveness of the site design from a customer’s point of view. Ask your designer why he or she made certain decisions – and then listen to them. But don’t assume you know more than the professional you hired.

Communicate with your designer.

It can be tough to know what you want, but if you have specific ideas or examples, be sure to provide those at the beginning of the project. If you have data or a persona of your typical customers, make sure your designer understands who the website must appeal to.

Likewise, it’s important to give concrete feedback on designs at the appropriate times in the project. Don’t wait until the website is nearly complete to voice your concerns about the user interface or site structure. Be as detailed as you can be on your feedback and don’t hesitate to ask questions.

Provide content as requested.

One of the biggest reasons why websites aren’t completed on schedule is because the business didn’t have the copy ready when they should have. When you’re late to provide key content your designer has to juggle his or her schedule to adjust for your needs and those of other clients. A one-week delay on your part could set your designer back even further. Not providing content upfront also sets your designer up for failure in that they will have to rearrange already determined layouts due to the new content received.  Unintentionally stringing your designer along this way will cause needless backtracking and edits for everyone involved. If you don’t have the time or the ability to create your own content, ask your designer if that’s a service he or she can provide, or if there’s a recommended provider who can do it for you.

Working together with your designer is key on a big web design project, but respect and professionalism are vital to getting a good result. Contact us to learn more about our design process and how we can help you get an effective website that will bring in leads and sales.