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08/022012

Communicating Your Needs to Your Web Designer


Communicating with a designer can be the most difficult part of the hiring process because you and the designer don’t speak the same language when talking about the details of a website. This article explains how to get your ideas across to the web designer you want to hire.

Ok, so you’ve decided to hire a graphic designer to build your website. You spent some time looking for the right person. Eventually you found the right designer that you believe will design the most “remarkable”, “extraordinary” website the internet community has yet seen.

So now what? Explaining to the designer the layout design you have in your mind can be a very frustrating process. You will find that putting the “picture” in your mind into words can be a difficult task. Actually in most cases this is the biggest hurdle between you and the final outcome. No matter how talented the web designer is, if you can not communicate with him properly, in his own professional language, he will not be able to use his talent to achieve your design.

There are two possible situations you may face:

  1. You know what content you want on the website but have no clue how to present it to the user.
  2. You know what content you want on the website, and you have the layout in your mind, but you don’t know how to implement it.

In both cases you will need to explain your thoughts to the designer. Although most people who read those lines are probably thinking that being in the second situation is better then being in the first situation. However, real life experience shows the opposite to be true. Giving a designer the complete freedom of action regarding the web design based solely on the website content is usually a smart thing to do. You will find that explaining to the designer what the nature of your website is, whether it’s a product that you want to sell or a hobby item, is much easier then trying to explain to her the temperate of the color schema or an undefined shape that you would like to have in the website header.

Actually for both of the situations, I would suggest you use the same approach, but with a minor modification to each situation. If you know of a website that has all the features you want or need and/or a site that looks the way you want your site to look, be sure to give the site’s url to the web designer. Doing so will give them some idea of want you want. You will both be looking at the same thing but will actually look at it from a different angle. Therefore, it may be better to give them more than one website as an example. The more websites you find that can express your feelings and/or needs, the easier it will be for designers to understand your intention without you having to use a single “technical” term. Chances are that you won’t find a single website that has all of the feature you want. After all, if such a website already exists there would be no place for your new web site to be born. Use several websites to express the different features you want. Spend as much time as necessary until you find just the right websites to provide examples of your needs. Doing research at this stage will definitely save you a lot of time later trying to point the designer in the right direction.

Although you are the one who needs to express your self to the designer, you must learn to listen to them as well. When they use technical terms, ask for their meaning. Do not finish any part of the conversation unless you are absolutely sure that both sides are on the same page. Remember that when a designer speaks about the temperature of a color, they are not talking about the next day’s forecast.

It is OK to require that a web designer gets your approval each step of the way so you can tell them if one of your goals isn’t being met. Also, if you really don’t like how something looks and want it changed, tell them immediately. Don’t wait until everything is done and then decide you don’t like it.

 

 



Posted by: admin