3 Important Questions to ask when contracting for Graphic Design or Web Design
When hiring a company to help with your business graphic design or web design you should carefully consider your objectives so that you can ensure to contract the right type of company or individual that will help you accomplish your goals. Here are three important questions to ask when you are choosing who to hire for your graphic design or web design project.
1. Does this company’s graphic design portfolio impress me?
I run a web design and internet marketing business near Toronto. One thing we are very transparent about on our website is our own web design portfolio. We display it with pride because it is an opportunity to showcase our work to potential clients online. To be honest, some of the designs in our opinion are not excellent, but we show them anyway because it is a real representation of all the work we have done, not just the best of our work.
A design firm, whether it is a graphic design or web design firm is somewhat limited to the clients’ own tastes, interests and desires when it comes to the look and feel of their website or their company branding. Sometimes we are required to design things that are not our very best work because it is what pleases the person paying for it. I’m positive this is the case with most design firms.
But when you review the entire portfolio and assess it as an entire indication of the type of work the company is capable of, does it impress you? Would you say that at least 2/3 of the design work would meet your personal standards for graphic or web design?
2. Do they seem to specialize more in graphic design or web design?
In any industry, there are those who specialize and those who try to be the “Jack of all trades”. The lines between graphic design and web design are fairly blurred, particularly to someone who doesn’t really know the difference. Most graphic designers are very highly skilled at brand development and bringing the various pieces of a business graphic marketing together for consistency.
The challenge is that many graphic designers are not very technical and therefore they don’t always know how to build a website that is technically sound or that is setup to be found properly for important keywords on search engines, or the process known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Often times, graphic designers will outsource the web development and search engine optimization to other organizations that they partner with. This can be a viable solution for your business but it is worthwhile to ask the questions up front so you know that the company you are hiring is not actually doing all the work relating to your project. In some instances this is not the idea situation for you.
Similarly, many web designers are too technical. These individuals tend to focus too heavily on the code and search engine optimization aspects of the project and they will often choose simple templates for web design or they will create websites that are not visually appealing to your audience.
There should be a balance between the visual design components of your website and the technology that is used to ensure it works properly and can get you a healthy amount of traffic.
3. Is their expertise mainly in design or do they help track lead generation?
What are your goals for this project? Are you more interested in simply having a placeholder on the internet, like an online brochure? If so, then hiring a graphic design firm will likely fill your needs just fine. Brochure sites are fairly easy to build using simple HTML software like DreamWeaver or even content management systems like WordPress. It is not very difficult for a novice to navigate their way around and produce a decent looking website.
But when it comes to achieving real business goals like driving highly qualified traffic to your website and converting those visitors into good sales leads or opportunities there is more involved than just a simple online brochure.
Be sure to ask the graphic design or web design firm you are considering to hire if they have experience in SEO and other Search Engine Marketing. Ask them to show you examples of websites that they have successfully driven lots of qualified traffic to.
And keep in mind that online an online brochure, a website that is intended for lead generation much include the appropriate conversion architecture. Ultimately that is what will generate a good return on investment for your business.
This article was originally created by WSI Milton