If you've visited the ImageWorks office before, you may have met our very charismatic and loveable graphic designer, Ray. Ray creates some of the most beautiful websites I've ever seen for our clients, but occasionally the process to achieve such beauty can be a bit rocky. Not much throws off our whistling, singing, chair dancing designer, however there are a few choice words and requests that will cause the face you see in that picture to appear.
Our interview was not just to give Ray a few minutes of haphazard therapy. We want our customers and readers to get the website they've always wanted and knowing how to effectively communicate with your designer will save time, money, and relieve frustration of your own. Here we're giving you a list of things that make will make a graphic designer cringe, in hopes you'll then be able to avoid experiencing such a mean mug like this one first hand.
- Requesting anything that includes the words "pop, clean, different, or dark prestige."
One of the best tips we can give you when talking to a graphic designer is to be as specific as possible. Does a website that "pops" mean bright colors, animation, flashy bells and whistles (which we don't recommend) or something else? If you want a website that is different, what are you comparing it to? Dark prestige? Yeah, we can't help you with that one, we're still trying to figure it out ourselves. The point is vague adjectives that don't actually define what it is you're looking for, won't get you what you want. Your time and the designer's time will be wasted if you can't be at least somewhat specific.
- Including too many people in the process.
While it's assumed that key decision makers will be included in the process, getting the opinion of your mom, grandma, brother-in-law and cat puts a serious delay on the process. It all goes back to the old, "too many cooks in the kitchen" expression. Even further than that, if you're not a cook at all, you really shouldn't be in the kitchen period now should you? Only include those who absolutely need to be involved to avoid an elongated, frustrating process.
- Asking the designer's opinion.
After you've discussed the details of your site and leave the designer to work their magic, asking them if they like it when it's done is just silly. Of course they are going to like it, they created it! In reality, their opinion doesn't make a difference anyways. It's your site and your business that is being represented. All that matters is your opinion, or the opinion of your customers.
- Expecting the highest quality on the lowest budget.
It's easy to differentiate high quality and low quality websites. Your website is one of the most critical aspects to your business, so opting to go with the cheapest web designer is probably not the best decision. That's not to say a small mom and pop shop should be investing their life savings into a big name designer in New York City, either. The point is, you get what you pay for. "Don't expect miracles on a less than miracle sized budget," to quote our designer.
- Coming unprepared.
Before meeting with your graphic designer, it's in your best interest to do a little research. Come with examples of sites that you like and more importantly, note why you like them. Know what your budget is beforehand so you're not trying on the Vera Wang wedding dress on a David's Bridal budget. (If you don't understand this reference, ask the closest girl to you, she'll get it.)
- Having an unrealistic timeline.
According to our designer, one of the biggest misconceptions is when a customer assumes that when something looks simple, it obviously takes a short amount of time to complete. Sometimes the smallest items take the longest to design! It's also unrealistic to think that you are the designer's only customer and they're only working on your project. If you're working with a reputable company, your design will be completed as quickly as possible in an appropriate time frame. That's IF you also do your part and research to streamline the process.
- Assuming every designer designs the same way.
Not only do you want to know what you like and don't like about a website, you'll also want to research different designers and web development companies. Like we said, do your research beforehand. Each company and designer has their own style so you'll want to choose the one that best suits your needs.