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Key Points to consider when choosing a web designer

Jul 15, 2008
A few years ago the web looked very different. There was little in the way of dynamic content, except a bit of Flash aniamtion, that most people steered clear of due to the drain on bandwidth. Back then, quality of design was a side issue.

The web has since changed very quickly - we are in the middle of Web 2.0, with Web 3.0 coming up rapidly. As web design was so profitable, designers popped up everywhere and you needed little in the way of skills, so long as you could configure a template. Quality was extremely varied.

You are probably looking for a web designer because you want a professional website built for you or your business, therefore you cannot start mixing with beginner designers. If you own a business and want to promote it through the help of a website you have to be very careful with the website - it has to be useful, fast and appealing. Customers do not give second chances - if your website takes a million years to load, they will find another place to search for the product.

Usability is also an important consideration - if a visitor finds it hard to find what they are looking for, they will become frustrated and leave. This means a professional, established web designer is vital. Cutting corners on cost here is going to be false economy - it is much more important to find a designer who understands what your business needs. Here is what you should consider when choosing a web designer for your business:

* Is your designer open minded? Your designer should listen to your opinions and requirements - after all you know your business better than anyone. He should be able to take what you know about your business and customers and fuse it with what he knows about web design. See if he listens and and asks the right questions, rather than trying to impose a solution on you. The desired result is a fusion of ideas to produce a remarkable website, rather than a "cookie cutter" solution.

* Good and fast - No matter how long the prohject is, you should always make sure progress is being made towards the end of the project. Ask him to complete the project in stages and tell you how long each stage will take. Make sure to review each stage as you go, to make sure he is completing everything to your satisfaction.

* Is he promoting usability? As we discussed, your business needs a website that your customers find useful - it should not be glittery and flashy at the expense of usability. Make sure he understands this - if he seems to intent on selling you all the "bells and whistles" then walk away.

Finding the perfect web designer is a difficult task but should not be totally impossible, if you follow what we have discussed . Review his portfolio to see if his past works are usable and well designed, ask questions and you shouldn't go too far wrong. If anything arises that makes you think he might not be suited to your business, then walk away and find another one.
About the Author
Robin Porter is CEO of Arpey Internet : an established uk web design company that specialises in creating sites for small to medium sized businesses, and in particular focuses on web design london
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