When conducting a Web design project, preparation is paramount. The client should have an idea of his or her budget, requirements and goals. Neglecting the preparation stage can result in confusion, disorganization, and a less-than-satisfactory outcome. The website design checklist below outlines some of the main factors to consider when preparing to work with a professional website agency. Making sure these aspects are considered will ensure a smooth working relationship and a flawless outcome.
Knowing the client’s budget will give the website designer an accurate idea of the mandate complexity. Some options can be eliminated immediately, and the designer and client will be able to discuss realistic goals, giving them both a sense of what can be achieved with the money available.
- Specific client requirements
Initially, the client should list exactly what projects will require web design work. For example, the client may require marketing materials such as business cards, brochures and letterhead. The client may also need the designer to create a logo from scratch. If that’s the case, the logo will need to be updated on the website, email signatures and all of the client’s marketing materials. Perhaps the client does not yet have a website and needs the designer to create one.Especially when working with a tight budget, it is easy to start with the basics and ignore some of the extra materials that will require web design work, but it’s better to be realistic. The creation of a logo is worthless if it is not on business cards and marketing pamphlets. The designer needs to know exactly what the client requires in order to formulate an accurate quote, and the comprehensive planning process will ensure that all of the client’s needs are satisfied.
- Outline the client’s goals
The client’s objectives ultimately determine the final web design. When design goals are not clear, the designer won’t be able to meet the client’s needs. Many of the decisions the designer makes will be based on the goals the client wants to achieve. The designer should approach the client with questions that address such goals. By working together to determine exactly what the client is going for, both the client and the designer will be able to work constructively toward those goals.
- Outline the target market
Effective designs are geared toward the client’s target market. Knowing what captures the attention of the client’s audience will help guide the design, from the colors used to the type of medium created. Marketing for adults looks very different than marketing aimed at children. Men and women tend to be persuaded by different types of marketing and design.A successful marketing campaign will be designed for the type of person the client wishes to attract. Constructing a detailed outline of the target market will help the client and the designer create an appropriate and effective design.
- Time frame
Whether or not the work must be completed within a short time frame, a deadline should be established. Designers often work for several clients at once, and they can better prioritize their work flow if they have an idea of each client’s time requirements. The client and designer may need to meet several times during the process, and establishing a schedule will help ensure that the final design is completed on time.
- Image quality
Any images or logos used in the design should be provided to the designer in vector format, such as Postscript, or .eps, or Illustrator, or .ai. This will give the designer freedom to alter the size of the design without affecting the quality of the image.If photographs are used, they should also be high resolution images, with at least 300 dpi, or dots per inch. Even though photographs used on websites are displayed at a much lower resolution, providing the designer with higher resolution photographs will allow for more freedom when editing, resizing and optimizing photographs.
- Provide images and text at the outset
The client should provide the Web designer with all the tools necessary to work on the designs when the project begins. That means that the client should work on procuring content, text, photographs or logos before initiating the project with the designer. The website agency will not be able to progress on the work if they do not have the necessary materials. The materials should be submitted in their final form. If the designer has to make revisions after the images or text have already been inserted into the material, it may increase the cost and delay the deadline.
- Secure the necessary authorizations images and text
If the client does not use original content or images, it is his or her responsibility to obtain the necessary authorizations for such materials. The client should provide the designer with any information regarding attribution or copyright so it can be incorporated into the final work. This applies to images, text, music and video used in the web design work.
- Provide web design samples
When a client is building on a previous promotional campaign or rebranding the company, providing examples of previous design work will help the designer create an appropriate web design. By having access to design samples, the designer will be able to coordinate the new designs with the old projects and deviate from the aspects of the design that did not work the first time.Although this checklist may appear complex, making sure each point is considered before starting the e-commerce design process will eliminate potential hurdles as the project unfolds. Preparing up front will reduce time and effort spent correcting mistakes and making decisions later on. If the website agency and client can discuss these points at the start of the project, they will work more quickly and efficiently, ultimately saving time and money.