Now that you’ve decided on a website design or search engine optimization (SEO) firm, let’s talk about how to work with your project manager and designer. It can be difficult to manage something that does not lie in the scope of your own expertise, like the inner workings that will make your website functional or how to design a captivating theme that adequately reflects your product or service mix.
The areas where you may not understand how or what to ask for, but where you do have an opinion can best be handled through examples. When you don’t have an opinion, chat with the website developer to share what you’d like to accomplish and see what he or she comes up with for your approval. It’s also worth noting that dictating exactly what you want on your website is not overstepping bounds, it is helpful to designers and developers who want to execute your vision. It’s helpful to point out examples of what you like. After all, think of how many renditions you would receive if you asked one hundred designers to draw a tall man, thin man with brown hair and blue eyes… you’ll get close to one hundred different results. Specificity is good; examples are even better.
Your online presence is broken down into three main components, 1) image 2) functionality, and 3) optimization. The component that “faces” your customer base through the screen, is of course, your image.
Artists’ work varies, from Vincent Van Gogh’s Scream to Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, all of it vastly different; all of it considered valuable art in its own right. Each web designer will also have a signature style, which is why it’s important to view a company’s work as a whole, but ask to use the specific designer whose examples you gravitate toward.
By all means, bring in samples, examples, or a wish list. We’ve seen everything from a piece of fabric or photo to inspire the visual components of a website, to examples of other websites that aren’t remotely connected to the company’s industry, but really excite the business in terms of look and style.
You’re given a blank canvas—when designing the face of your business, consider what the experts tell you in terms of color play and design characteristics, but be true to your vision and your instinct when deciding upon what your image will become. Poise yourself to convey your thoughts and then, because you’ve already done your homework on them, sit back and let the company turn your ideas into magic.