When it comes to the importance of professional web design services in the creation of a business website, marketers agree that the first impression matters. According to a Blue Corona survey, 48% of people cite the website design as the primary factor when deciding the credibility of a business and 38% of people leave a website if they don’t like the web design.

Most business owners are aware that a good web design can increase conversions and generate leads, which is why they go to great lengths to hire the right person for the job. Now, when there are so many professional web development companies to choose from, finding a reliable designer has never been easier.

However, as many clients find out, hiring the best web designer doesn’t always guarantee the amazing results they were hoping for. Without communication and planning, even the most skilled designer can underperform, so follow these tips to make the most out website designers and lay the foundation for a lucrative long-term partnership:

Know your requirements and plan in advance

A professional web designer is quite flexible and they will do their best to bring your dream website to life even if you have a limited budget. However, in order for them to help you, you need to know what you want. Without a clear goal in mind, it will be almost impossible for the designer to execute your ideas.

Before hiring anyone, make a list of features you want your website to have. Will it be an e-commerce store or a simple presentation website? How many pages do you need and how do you want them to be structured? Who is the target audience? Is your business based on the B2B or B2C model? All of these are details you have to give to your web designer.

Needless to say, you need to set a budget, at least approximately. This way, you’ll know from the very beginning if your expectations are realistic or if you’ll have to cut down some features.

Some designers ask their clients to give them a sketch of how they would want their design to look like. This isn’t always possible, considering that not all business owners have Photoshop skills, but try at least to think of a general color scheme and layout.

Create a mood board

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When you go to the hairdresser’s, you prepare a Pinterest board in advance with the haircuts or hair colors that you think would look good on you.

This is called a mood board and you need something similar when developing a website design.
Here’s how it works:

• Bookmark all the websites that inspire you and that reflect your corporate identity. Whether you liked their colors, their clever use of typography, or the way they were structured, save them to your moodboard so that the designer can have a general idea of what you’re looking for. If you don’t have any tech knowledge, you may not be familiar with terms like Parallax, infinite scrolling, or open compositions, so let the examples speak for you.

• Make a list of things you don’t want in your website design. This might sound counterproductive, but sometimes it’s easier for the designer to understand what you want if you tell them what you hate.

• Be as detailed as possible. There’s no such thing as too much documentation when working with a website designer. Every little example is welcome, so don’t worry that you’re overwhelming them.

Go through their portfolio

In many ways, web designers are similar to painters. Web design is as much art as it is technology. Two painters can have different styles and that doesn’t necessarily mean that one is better than the other. The same applies to web designers.

Before hiring them, have a look at the website designer’s previous case studies and portfolio to see if their work is similar to what you’d like to achieve. Some designers are great at doing sleek, minimalist pages. Others create magnetizing pages that use bold fonts and bright colors. Even if they use the same tools and software, each designer has their own style, and it’s important you find someone with the same aesthetic as you.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to give those particular works as examples so they can understand your preferences.

Make your contribution

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Once you sign a contract with the web designer, they will start work right away, but that doesn’t mean you will be excluded from the process altogether.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to do any design work, but there are several ways you can help out your designer to speed up the process:
• Send them all the branding resources they need to get started (images, graphics, logos, etc).

• Have the website copy ready. Designers can populate the website with generic lorem ipsum text, but they’ll still need to make some tweaks once you replace that with the actual copy.

• Be responsive. From time to time, the designer will need your input, and it’s important to answer all their questions truthfully and on time. Otherwise, the launch will be delayed.

• Ensure proper communication between all parties. If the designer needs to collaborate with developers and writers, make sure everyone has all the contact details they need. You don’t want to become an intermediary.

Give honest, constructive feedback

Last, but definitely not least, feedback is at the foundation of every successful partnership. When your designer sends you the mock-ups, be as honest as possible and give them detailed feedback on what you like and don’t like it. Use these tips to give relevant feedback:

• Be specific. Don’t just say that you hate the design or the way a text box looks. Give more details. Why exactly do you hate it and what would you want it to look like instead? Vague formulations like “it needs some extra punch” aren’t helpful in the slightest.

• Be organized. Gather your thoughts and send all the feedback in one email. Don’t send multiple comments on Skype, email, and Slack, because the information might get lost and the designer will end up having to do dozens of revised versions.

• Be reasonable. Clients who say that the green text is too green are a designer’s worst nightmare. Don’t ask them to create a design that’s both minimalistic and detailed. Nit-picking can hinder the designer’s creativity and deliver a product that lacks consistency.

• Don’t get everyone involved. A little feedback from friends and family can be constructive, but the more people you get involved, the more confusing it will be for the designer.