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12 days of Christmas for Web Designers

Danny Watkinson
Digital Marketing Executive, Adwords Professional and Technical SEO Wizard at dijitul.

20141201_dijitul-xmastree_7351-resizeAs a client, your website project can be quite daunting. It’s not easy to figure out what your web designer/developer will need. Especially if you’ve never gone through the process before, and every web agency works differently to others, so it’s never the same process.

It can be the same for us Web Designers. In some cases, we never know what the client wants exactly, or how they want us to approach something. In this post, i’m including 12 things you can do as a client to make your Web Designers and Developers happy, and also a few tips on some aspects of sites, in order to get an amazing, user friendly website at the end of the process.

1) Offer your web designer some starting points.

In some cases, i’ve found it’s incredibly hard to start a design for a client without any starting points. Making your designer go into your project totally blind can be a big mistake to make. It will waste some of your valuable design time that you’ve paid for, when it could be spent making multiple variations of an idea in order to generate plenty of routes for your website to go down. If you’re not sure, just tell them. They are there to help you. In the initial consultation stage, give them anything to start from, and generate a discussion. That way, you’re more likely to start getting ideas for the design and layout of your website. Show them websites you like the look of, show them sites you hate. Tell them how you like the way something works and you want something similar. Give them an idea of how many pages you want in your website. All these little details can really help your designer to start bringing your website to life.

2) Keep it simple.

From a usability point of view, your website should be easily used by your target audience. You need to make sure it suits as many people as possible in order to increase the chance of generating leads/sales from your website. Keeping your website simple will also make it easier for designers to make your site look professional, polished and beautiful. Add in too much content and it will put your users off, put in not enough content and your users wont be clear on what you are trying to do/sell. It’s all about finding a balance.

3) Let your designer offer their advice and expertise.

You always have to be careful what you do on the web, as some ideas simply won’t work. It could be something that’s great for print, but won’t work on the web. Your designer will have years of experience with the web, and have an incredible amount of knowledge when it comes to user experience and “ideal” design solutions. Work with them to create a user friendly site that both works well, and looks awesome.

4) Make your website mobile friendly.

Responsive web design is becoming more and more of an important element of a website. With mobile traffic (on average) to websites hitting over 20%, it’s important to make your website accessible to as many people as possible. Not only will your site be more user friendly, it’ll also get a nice pat on the head from Google. They love mobile friendly websites, and actually penalise sites in the SERPs (search engine results page) for not being responsive.

5) Get your content pre-written.

Having your site designed around your content is so much better than having your site designed, and then trying to fit your content in to it. It will make your designer one happy bunny if you send them the content for them to carefully consider and lay out properly.

6) Sliders get hardly any action.

Automatic sliders aren’t brilliant for conversion. A study by Notre Dame University (you can find it here) showed that auto-forwarding (automatic sliding) sliders didn’t perform as well as static sliders. Around 1% of people click on a feature in a slider, which isn’t a great amount of people. So don’t put your most important information in a slider, as it’s highly likely it will be missed all together. If the slider is also automatic, it’s possible some ads/promotions in the slider will be missed altogether as people’s natural instinct is to scroll down a page.

7) If you can, get a photographer in house to take some new photos for your website. Designers love high resolution, beautiful images.

Nothing promotes your product more than having some lovely high resolution, well thought-out shots of your products. Nice images on a website can really make a difference to the overall look and feel of it, and will make the aesthetics of it immediately better. Be careful who you get in to do your photos, do your homework and research, and make sure that they specialise in website photography. Pssst, between you and me, we have an in-house website and event photographer. He is awesome. Drop us an email at info@dijitul.uk or call us at 01623 650333.

8) Making your logo bigger will not help you sell more products/services.

I’m normally asked quite a few times to “make the logo bigger”. I tend to just respect the request and do it. At the end of the day, it’s the client’s website and I need to make them happy with the end product. There will be a reason as to why your designer has made the company logo the size it is. If you feel as though it needs to be different, have a discussion with them and express why. By putting in a big logo, it doesn’t tell the user a story, it doesn’t sell them a product, or describe how it works. So allow your designer to come up with an appropriate size, make a bit of a compromise, and let your content stand out and do the talking.

9) Make sure you don’t request for the font size to be too small.

Although small text may look pretty, it’s a bad idea in terms of accessibility and UX. From where you’re sitting looking at your device, the recommended font size is actually 16 pixels (which is what we’ve used here). You may think, wow, that’s way too big for a font size! But in actual fact, it makes it the same sort of readability as when you read a magazine. In my opinion, 16px is too big, so I tend to opt for around 14px. It’s small details like this you need to consider when it comes to your target audience.

10) Experiment with fonts.

Let your designer come up with some different font combinations, and experiment with some different font types. Go for fancy ones or simple ones, sans serif or serif. Having different types of fonts can help your content to really stand out.

11) Communication is key.

Your web project will run smoothly if you keep up with communicating with your designer and developer. Offer them some advice/solutions when they need it, and work with them to get content sent over to them as quickly as you can. It prevents your project being delayed, and you’ll end up with better results.

12) Get involved.

Involve yourself as much as possible. It’ your project, it’s your website, it’s your branding and company. Show your interest, share your ideas, collaborate with your designer. Build a great relationship with them and you’ll find your overall product is high quality, professional, aesthetically pleasing and functional.

 

At Dijitul, we love helping our clients to get the best end results. Collaborate with us and let’s get you on the web. Call us today on 01623 650333.

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