Selecting a web design agency to create or renovate the look and user experience of your site can be a nerve-wracking proposition. How can you be sure you’re picking the right team? Will they be able to implement your ideas, goals, and branding into a stunning, effective web experience? What if they insist on using Comic Sans?!
If the agency you’re thinking of contracting is worth their salt (or your time and money), they’ll initiate a design consultation targeted to identifying exactly what you want and need. At VIEO, we provide this service as part of our method to get to know you better as a client and shape the direction of our design suggestions.
While this process may be unfamiliar to you, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you get the most out of your meeting.
5 Ways to Prepare for Your Design Consultation
During the web design consultation with every client, we discuss how they want their new website to look and feel. It's the first and best opportunity we have to hear about their frustrations with the current design, any ideas they have, and offer up design concepts that will better represent their brand, work with inbound marketing efforts and CTAs, improve customer engagement, and reach higher conversion rates.
Here’s what you’ll need to be ready:
1. Design with PurposeKnow what you want your website to do for your business goals. If you have an ideal buyer persona, you’ll want your design choices to work with your brand image, but also reflect your customers’ objectives, interests, and the point they’ve reached in their buyer’s journey. Understand your target audience, how they come to your site, and what they’re looking for. Make sure to communicate that to the design team so they can account for this behavior.
What is the most important thing you need your web design to communicate? What pages and content get the most traffic or offer up the best ROI? What actions do you most want your visitors to take? We’ll build a design that helps to optimize the inbound flow for you.
2. Show Us What You Love
If you've found a website that you particularly like, or design of any kind that you thought looked fantastic, make sure we see it. Whether it's a full site or just a single design element, examples of things you find awesome or inspiring help us learn what your tastes are. Of course, not everything that you love may make it into your website design, but we can implement parts of these elements to form a beautiful, cohesive site.
3. Brandish Your Branding
Most clients already have an existing logo, colors, or even full style guides. A company style guide is extremely helpful, if you have one.
Bring digital copies of your official logo – preferably as a vector file – and any other publications or marketing materials that show the implementation of your brand. For your logo, make sure to bring only official versions and make sure they have the appropriate trademarks, if applicable.
4. Provide Photos
High-quality photography of your building or storefront, products, and staff is a valuable resource to have on hand when design begins. Stock photos, no matter how well done, are very easy for an audience to spot and can make your brand seem impersonal and distant. In combination with your written content, nothing works better to humanize your site and give visitors a sense of your company than real images.
5. Focus on (Some) Small Details First
Lots of miscellaneous pieces of data go into a site design, many of them fine details that can hold up progress if not seen to efficiently. Here's a quick list of the most common ones that you can provide to keep the process moving:
- Links to all of your social media sites profiles
- The – real, monitored – general contact email for your contact forms (email@example.com)
- Your full official business name for the copyright
- The phone number and street address you would like in the contact form
- Logins for your registrar if you will be moving the registration to our provider, or so we can change the DNS settings as needed
- Information about how your email is currently configured, especially if your email is on a dedicated hosting service, like an exchange provider or Google
As part of our consultation, we introduce you to the website design process so you know what to expect, when to expect it, and give tips on how you can make things a bit easier on your end. It's a lot to cover in one meeting! By using the pointers above, you can get the most out of the meeting.
The design consult is just the first step, but following these suggestions first will help to streamline the web design consultation, so you can reach final hand-off and start converting visitors into leads and sales that much sooner.
Want to dig in a little deeper?
This was blog was originally posted on 7/17/13, but has been updated to include the most recent information and processes.