1. In-person meeting
An in-person meeting is crucial to everything we do. I have had kickoffs on projects via Skype or Google Hangouts, and everything has gone decently – but the more you can see someone’s face and body language, the more you can catch the nuances of what they aren’t saying when they’re explaining what makes their business special.
2. A lively ‘discovery’ process
Don’t underestimate the power of enthusiasm. That is what I try to bring to the table when brainstorming for a new website design. If you’re working with another web design company – make the expectation clear from the beginning that you want to have a brainstorm, and that anything goes while you have that process.
Yes, you should start to make more clear key value propositions, your demographic and your company’s competitors, but getting into the mode of ‘anything goes’ is crucial to dig up some new and fresh ideas for a website redesign.
3. Clear expectations / Documented QA (quality assurance)
Nothing says buzzkill more than telling your web designer ten edits, only to have them fall through the cracks. That’s why I prefer to have a Google Doc that serves as a master list for all of the edits throughout the website design process. If some of them are made somewhere else and then transferred to a master list, that’s fine too – but with any website project, there’s usually a number of simultaneous initiatives with different people involved in each, so it’s crucial to document.
This way, if there’s any confusion – you can consult the list and find what was said previously.
A team focused on making you more money
Is an expensive redesign for your health? No – you redesign your website because you have a reason to believe looking modern and professional will earn you more business. Make sure your web design company understands that this is the case.
I honestly think it helps to have a designer who knows how to sell! Part of that is the ability to sell their ideas – if you have a strategic, marketing focused designer you don’t want to be able to steamroll over them. You want someone who knows when to bend, but also when to stay firm on a solid idea and stubbornly help facilitate that idea into reality.
If your designer is working as a partner in your success – and to make your company more money – to find more opportunities to be of service to your clients and customers, you have a team focused on making you money. That’s important – a company’s livelihood is at stake. Choose wisely.
Launch your website with a champagne toast
Don’t just gloss over the launch of your website. I strongly suggest having a ‘soft launch’ three days to a week before the ‘hard launch’ with champagne and all of the characters that contributed. Just knowing that this is going to happen helps keep everybody on point, and excited about what you’re all about to do.
Are you looking for ways to promote your new website launch? I made a list on a guest post for Noupe.com:
How to Get The Most Out of a New Website Launch Announcement
I have a number of posts that answer Frequently Asked Questions about web design if you want to check them out:
How can I make sure I can edit my website after it’s made?
Why do I need a contract for a web design project?
How long does it take to build a website?