If there is one industry that changes with a frightening pace, it is web design.
That’s part of why it’s so exciting to be in the field of web design right now.
However, because of that rapid change of pace, there is a natural consumer uncertainty that accompanies it.
One piece of that uncertainty we addressed elsewhere has to do with cost. Another piece of it, though, has to do with talent. Is someone likely to be a good web designer simply because they are a teenager or grew up with the Internet?
I hate to be simplistic, but I hear some version of that often.
It goes something like this:
Well, my niece is good with computers, so she can probably build me a website!
Is that true? Maybe.
But I don’t think I would count on that as a viable strategy for getting real work done that your business depends on.
Here are some things you can do to ensure you make a good decision:
Ask for Examples of Work
Transparently, I’m on the wrong side of this suggestion because I don’t presently have a website portfolio up. Honest to goodness, for my business, it’s the old “cobbler’s son has no shoes” problem.
We’ve been so busy that finding time to work on our stuff has been challenging. That said, if you asked for examples of our work, we could pony up.
Do Lots of Homework
It’s been well-said that the businesses that win are not necessarily out-advertising their competition; instead, they’re out-educating their competition.
More and more, our team is embracing this mindset.
Not only are we generating lots of content with helpful answers to our potential clients’ questions, but we are making efforts to organize this content and make it searchable.
When engaging a web designer, how forthcoming are they? How much do they share about their subject matter, process, pricing, et cetera?
The more they openly share, the more confident you can be in the decision to hire them.
Talk to a Person
At the end of the day, there is very little substitute for having a conversation, building rapport, and finding out for yourself if you trust them.
Your web designer should be friendly, have the heart of a teacher, honest, and confident in what they do.
I’ve always said that the combination of honesty and confidence is what often wins business for NorthMac. We will go confidently into the future, making suggestions and take action, but if we don’t know how to handle a situation, we’ll tell you!
And then, assuming it fits within our business model, we will learn how.
Whomever you engage for web design services, if they can speak confidently about their subject matter and seem to do so with an honest tone and pleasant demeanor, they would probably do a good job for you.
Lastly, it’s never a bad idea to see what other people have to say about your potential web designer.
Does someone else vouch for them? Do they have legitimate positive reviews, case studies, or transformation stories?
If so, that’s a feather in their cap.
Conclusion — Communication is Everything
May I let you in on a personal insight I’ve gained from being in this business for 7 years now?
There is little to nothing more important than a web designer’s willingness and ability to communicate.
Clients who lost touch with their web designer engage us regularly. One day, they just stop answering the phone, never to be heard from again.
I wish this were uncommon, but it’s not.
At the risk of sounding self-serving (because we’re huge on radical overcommunication), you need to feel confident that your web designer will be communicative with you.
If you can score that, you’ve found a keeper.