Working with a website designer is a collaborative process, especially for small to medium-sized businesses in creative and design-oriented industries. This collaboration involves giving and receiving feedback, which is integral to producing the best results. The process, when effectively conducted, can lead to a website that isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, but also high-performing and well-converting. As a freelance designer since 2015, I’ve come to understand the complexities involved in this process, and here are some insights that can help make it smoother and more rewarding.
Beginning with the Mood Board
Our journey together starts with the creation of a mood board. This phase is fundamental as it helps articulate your vision, and for me to understand the overall style, personality, and feeling you want your website to convey. A well-thought-out mood board reduces misinterpretations and aligns expectations. So, the first constructive feedback you can give is to be honest, specific, and comprehensive about your thoughts on the mood board.
Embracing the Wireframe
After the mood board is approved, I craft an in-browser design draft that functions as a wireframe. This draft is the skeleton of your website – it doesn’t contain all the content, but it gives you an idea of how your website will look and function. Your feedback at this stage is crucial because it shapes the overall structure and usability of your website. It’s the perfect time for you to suggest changes or improvements, or even to tell me if there’s something you don’t understand or like. Be open, be thorough, but also, trust in the process and my expertise.
Beyond the Wireframe
Once we have the wireframe in place, we move on to populating your website with content. This is where you, the client, play an integral role. You know your business like no one else. Therefore, you are the best person to provide the text, images, and other content that will tell your story to your audience. I can guide you on how to organize the content for optimal user experience, but your active participation in providing the content is crucial.
Cultivating Timely Communication
Timeliness is a two-way street in a successful designer-client relationship. I strive to respond to emails promptly, and your reciprocation helps keep the project timeline on track. Meeting deadlines, providing necessary materials, or just being available for a discussion are all ways you can contribute to an effective workflow. This might seem straightforward, but it’s a crucial aspect that significantly impacts the progress and outcome of your website design project.
Trusting the Designer’s Expertise
One common challenge in the design process is when clients request specific elements that they believe will work well on their website, based on their own assumptions. However, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t across various industries and scenarios. I encourage you to trust my professional perspective and let me guide the design process. Your vision is the guiding light, but my experience can help translate that vision into a functional, effective, and beautiful website.
The Power of Constructive Feedback
A successful design process is marked by a healthy feedback environment. I cherish constructive feedback – it helps me better understand your needs and wants, and it improves the design process. One of my most rewarding experiences was redesigning a website for Harrogate Community Radio. The client’s feedback led to the removal of a graphic from the hero section, significantly improving the website’s loading speed. The client’s specific, actionable feedback made this possible.
In conclusion, the ideal feedback process is one of open communication, mutual respect, and collaboration. Feedback isn’t just about what you don’t like, it’s about moving the project forward towards a shared goal – creating a website that truly represents your business and serves your customers effectively. The more we communicate, the more I can deliver a website that goes beyond just being how you envisioned it to being a tool that accelerates your business growth.