Three Vitally Important Things you MUST Demand for your Web Design Project
May 25th 2015 | By Steve Grant
So it’s time for a new website, and time to think: what is your most important objective above all others?
A website that looks better than the last one? Something that’s more up to date? Mobile friendly? Search engine friendly? A breeze to update in-house?
The answer? None of the above. Here’s what your overriding key goal should always be (and it’s the same for any marketing initiative) … to achieve a return on your investment. And it will, providing you follow these three important rules for website design.
Rule 1: Always go bespoke
Genuine bespoke design will always give you the best chance possible of achieving a top return on investment. And here’s why…
Firstly, a bespoke designed website is crafted from the ground up and tailored to meet specific objectives, fit in with business plans and marketing strategies, work for a particular audience set and, most importantly, focus on results.
A bespoke designed website pays detailed attention to the visitor experience, building loyalty and boosting conversions. So visitors become customers, and customers become loyal patrons who will return and recommend.
In my experience, bespoke design delivers serious competitive advantage by making a business stand out in its marketplace: it happens so often that people will make a buying decision or recommendation based on the quality and usability of a website.
Bespoke websites also offer greater longevity. This is because they are far more flexible to work with and build on: the scalability is right there. But only if the site is truly bespoke. What do I mean by this?
Taking a ready-made template or a theme and manipulating it so it looks a little less like a template is NOT bespoke design. With bespoke design, you actually start right at the drawing board. Creative ingenuity rather than structural engineering.
Lots of businesses have visions of growth, of expanding product ranges or adding new services over time. With this comes a need for website alterations. But beware: if your site is built on a template, you’ll find updating it not such an easy task. The flexibility just isn’t there. I’ve recently met a business owner who was under the impression he’d spent what was a fairly substantial budget on a custom website. However, it later transpired that the site had in fact been built on a template, and now he is struggling to alter it. He may even have to start again from scratch.Beware: if your site is built on a template, you’ll find updating it not such an easy task.
From scratch is where genuine bespoke website design always starts. Just remember: bespoke means tailored, long-lasting, scalable and flexible.
Rule 2: Never underestimate the benefit of using a full-service agency
Website design is never, ever, simply a case of designing and building a website. There are numerous other services involved, or at least there should be. Branding and marketing consultancy, photography and possibly video production, copy writing, search engine strategy, support and training.
Time is precious, and lots of it can be saved by using a service provider that offers the full picnic.
A full service agency will generally achieve a far more polished result with excellent consistency and professionalism. Compare them yourself: a cohesive team that is centrally managed by one person who understands your objectives and knows your business, versus a set of standalone suppliers who you have to coordinate yourself.
There’s no comparison. Do you really have time to manage supplier relationships? The loss of focus on your business could well affect your bottom line.
And then there’s the element of cost savings. Place a bigger order and you’re likely to enjoy a more competitive quote and find yourself in a better position to negotiate.
Rule 3: Demand a face to face service
Communicating by phone or digital means is obviously important. Information travels quickly and there’s an audit trail so you can keep track of who said what and when. However, on occasion, things can get lost in translation, or something can be taken the wrong way. How many times have you misread the tone of an email and taken it to mean something different to what the sender intended? Or vice versa?
It’s rare to find this happens when you communicate face to face. So if some aspect of your web design project is important, never leave it to chance. Set up a meeting. The time you spend could save all manner of delays and discrepancies down the line.
Of course, not all web design agencies support face to face working. Sometimes you’ll find a preference for email or telephone communication over meeting in the name of ‘time efficiency’. But more often than not this can prove a false economy. As I said, the likelihood of things being lost in translation is heightened without the benefit of a proper get together.
I also don’t see how you can properly get to know a business without actually meeting its people and getting a feel for the personality on the premises. A website designer who is passionate about getting you results will never turn down the opportunity to meet face to face.
Time for one more before you go…
So there are the three rules, and here’s one more: never, ever forget the importance of focusing on achieving a decent return on your investment. Naturally budget is a key consideration when choosing a web design agency, and that’s something I’ve got earmarked to talk about in a future post.
In the meantime, if there’s anything Figment can help you with: bespoke website design, all the services under one roof and a face to face service included, please get in touch!