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Tips to a Smooth Web Design Process

By: Shala Graham at SW Creatives

Submitted on Tue, Jan 9th, 2007 12:00 am

As web sites have become increasingly popular and your web presence often dictates whether or not you will receive business, I have received more and more emails and calls from customers who either need a website or need a re-design. What I also encounter is that many new customers who have never undergone this process don’t know what to expect and often have misconceptions about what it takes. This brief article is designed to help clarify the process so that it may be smoother for you and your designer.

1. Be prepared with ideas for your site. No one knows your business like you do so come to the table with a clear understanding of what you need to communicate about your business, the style of your business (corporate, progressive, urban, elegant, etc), your target audience, and how many pages you think you’ll need.

2. Do your research. If you aren’t good at articulating your ideas, research other websites to find what you like and provide the links to your designer. When you do this, be sure to detail what it is that you specifically like about that site.

3. Budget. Take a candid look at your budget and decide on a fair range that you can afford and find a designer in that range. Many rates are based on the value of a designers’ work, so don’t de-value a designer by asking them to change their rate for you. Just move on. One of my clients was so enamored by the internets offers for cheap, instant websites that she thought design firms offered the same. If you have somewhere around $100, your best bet is to use an online, template based website because you won’t find design firms or freelancers (at least not ones that are good) for that price. Many firms cost more than that for only one hour of their time. But if you want a custom designed website, be prepared to spend a little money for quality, unique work. You may be interested in purchasing “Pricing & Ethical Guidelines” by the Graphic Artist Guild as it outlines standard design costs for all areas of the industry. The average hourly rate for web designers is often between $50-100.

4. Be responsive. In order to achieve the site your really want in the time you want it, make sure that you are responsive to emails or calls from your designer. Email is often the primary source of communication for the sending of design samples and links. A good designer won’t move forward until they get your approval.

5. Plan ahead! Don’t wait until the last minute to get a website created. Try to give yourself at least month before your target launch date, at the very least 2 weeks. A comfortable timeframe will allow your designer to be more creative with more time to polish the website to perfection. But if you can’t wait, be prepared to pay rush fees of 50-100%. It’s also good to have your content already developed!

I hope that this article helps you in your path to getting a website. Feel free to visit my website to learn more about me:

About the Author

Shala Graham
SW Creatives
Shala W. Graham Owner/Creative Director SW Creatives See for bio.

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