Hiring a web designer?: All you need to know

Published on

15 Dec

2022

Read time

6 min

Building a website is a huge undertaking. You are creating the platform on which you will find your customers and meet their needs. Your website is often the first interaction a client will have with you and because of that, it needs to be easy-to-use, efficient, informative and sleek.

So before you start, outline for yourself your goals with this website. Set yourself a budget and deadline for the project. Gather the material you already have: copy, images, testimonials and contact details. This way, when you approach a web designer you already have a rough idea of what will appear on your website, and the designer can guide you as to how best to achieve your goals.

Now, you will need to approach a few developers. Whether you are working off your own search or recommendations from colleagues or friends, the process of hiring a web designer is key to ensuring the success of your website. So, what should you look for when you want to hire a web designer?

What to look for when hiring a web designer?

Portfolio

A good designer will have plenty of experience. You want to be able to trust that the designer you hire will be capable of handling the tasks you give them quickly, and also be clued up on the latest design trends and website functionalities.

Check their portfolio for evidence of previous work. Do their previous projects look like something you’d be proud to have as your own website? Do you like the look of the websites they have built? You should also try using these websites on your phone or a tablet to see that they are skilled at creating responsive websites.

Here you should also be checking for similarities in their work to aspects you want on your site. For example, if you are starting an online shop, check their previous projects to see that they have done this before and that the shop functions smoothly.

Testimonials

Although you can’t trust every review you read, you should be confident that the web designer you hire can handle the scope of your work. Check their Google reviews, reviews on social media, LinkedIn and testimonials they have gathered.

A happy client will be effusive in their gratitude to the designer. You should be looking out for mention of their time-keeping skills, professionalism and creativity. You want to make sure the web designer or agency you hire can perform the tasks you ask of them but also suggest creative and innovative ways to make your site stand out from the crowd.

Communication style

Over the course of the project, you will have a lot of back and forth communication with your web developer. So, you need to make sure the designer you hire communicates clearly and professionally. You will be able to get a sense of their communication skills in your initial interactions by email and then later when you meet, whether face-to-face or in an online meeting. If they are late, unresponsive, unprepared or lack passion and interest you can assume they are not suited for your project.

Questions to ask the web design company before hiring

Once you have narrowed down your list of potential candidates, meet with a few of them. These days this is mostly done online, which luckily means you are not limited in who you can choose. During this meeting, come armed with a few basic questions to make sure you can make an informed choice.

Where is the team located?

We are no longer restricted to hiring service providers close-by, but hiring someone remotely does come with its own challenges. It might also be likely that the team itself is spread out all over the world. You’ll want to get a sense of the logistics of this, especially in terms of time zones and how that will affect communication. There is nothing worse than having every communication drag on because you’re all in vastly different time zones. If in your meeting you discover the team is spread out, simply ask how they handle this.

What is the web design process?

When discussing your project with a potential designer, ask them about their process. Ask your web designer if they have a workflow or project management plan that you can see. This will help you understand the work involved for them and what they will require of you.

Things you should look out for in their workflow include:

  • Clear organisation - are tasks clearly labelled and assigned?
  • Timelines - each section should have a timeline indicating expected date of delivery.
  • Updates - are there points in the project at which you, the client, will receive official updates? This will ensure nothing is done out of budget and scope.

In this process or workflow, you can also get a sense of the web designer’s level and style of communication. 

What is the cost?

You should already have a clear budget in your mind of what capital you have available to spend on your website. Most web designers and agencies worth their salt will have a basic breakdown of their costs available for you to see before you set up a meeting. This will rule out meeting with major design enterprises when you are a small business. It will also rule out an individual freelance designer if you are looking for a large, intricate design.

In your meeting, ask the designer what is included in the price. Check specifically for these items:

If, for example, copy is not included in the scope of the designer’s quote, you will need to factor that into your budget.

Who will be working on your project specifically?

In an agency space, you will often find they have more than one developer on their team. You want to make sure you have met with, and like, the developer who will be working on your project specifically. While you will likely be assigned a project or account manager, you must also ensure the developer suits your needs.

How busy are they?

You will have set yourself deadlines as to when you want your website to launch and start generating leads or sales. If the designer or agency appears overwhelmed with work, it is best you look elsewhere as they probably won’t be able to meet your deadlines. 

Likewise, if your project is large and will require multiple sets of eyes for approval you must factor that into your deadlines. 

Get in touch with us

If you’re in the market for a team of web development and design experts to take your business to the next level with a Webflow site, consider Boost, a Webflow agency.

We are a trusted web design and development agency, based in London specialising in creating eye-catching, functional websites using Webflow that are designed to attract and delight your ideal customers.

Contact us today for a quote.

Add the final sentence at the end of the blog: 

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16 Jul

2024

How to plan a successful website redesign: A comprehensive guide

Planning a successful website redesign involves more than just changing the look and feel of your site. It's about improving user experience, enhancing functionality, and ensuring that the website meets your business goals. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you plan your website redesign effectively.

1. Define your goals and objectives

Before embarking on a website redesign, it’s crucial to clearly define what you want to achieve. Are you aiming to improve user engagement, boost conversions, or enhance brand perception? Setting clear, measurable goals will guide the redesign process and help evaluate its success.

Considerations:

  • Business Goals: Align your website redesign with your broader business objectives.
  • User Goals: Understand what your users want to achieve when they visit your site.
  • KPIs: Identify key performance indicators to measure success post-redesign.

2. Conduct a comprehensive audit

A thorough audit of your existing website is essential to understand what’s working and what’s not. This involves evaluating the site's performance, usability, and content.

Steps:

  • UX Audit: Analyse the user journey, navigation flow, and engagement metrics to identify pain points and opportunities for improvement​​​​.
  • SEO Audit: Evaluate your site's current SEO performance, identifying strengths and weaknesses to address during the redesign​​.
  • Content Audit: Assess the quality, relevance, and performance of your current content. Identify gaps and opportunities for new content​​.
person working graph digital tablet
Your content should be relevant and up-to-date.

3. Research and benchmark competitors

Understanding your competitive landscape helps you identify industry standards and opportunities to differentiate your brand.

Actions:

  • Competitor Analysis: Study the websites of your main competitors to understand their strengths and weaknesses​​.
  • Industry Trends: Stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in web design and user experience to ensure your redesign is contemporary and effective.

4. Develop a solid ux strategy

A user experience (UX) strategy is critical for creating a website that meets user needs and expectations. This involves understanding user behaviour and designing intuitive navigation and information architecture.

Key Elements:

  • User Research: Conduct user testing and interviews to gain insights into how users interact with your current site and what they need​​.
  • Wireframes and Prototypes: Create wireframes and prototypes to map out the user journey and ensure a seamless experience​​.
  • User Testing: Test prototypes with real users to identify and fix usability issues before finalising the design​​.

5. Plan your content strategy

Content is a vital component of your website. It needs to be relevant, engaging, and optimised for search engines.

Steps:

  • Content Mapping: Identify the type and placement of content on your site. Ensure each piece of content aligns with your user’s needs and your business goals​​.
  • SEO Optimisation: Conduct keyword research and optimise your content for search engines to improve visibility and attract qualified traffic​​.
  • Content Creation: Develop high-quality content that resonates with your audience and supports your brand message​​.

6. Focus on visual and UI design

Your website’s visual design should reflect your brand identity and create a positive impression on users.

Considerations:

  • Brand identity: Ensure your visual design aligns with your overall brand identity, including logos, colour schemes, and typography​​.
  • UI design: Create a visually appealing interface that is easy to navigate and enhances user experience​​.
  • Responsive design: Ensure your design is responsive, providing an optimal experience across all devices.

7. Choose the right development platform

Selecting the right platform for your website is crucial for ensuring it meets your functionality and performance needs.

Recommendation:

  • Webflow: As a versatile and scalable platform, Webflow offers a range of features that make it ideal for modern website development. It provides a user-friendly CMS, built-in SEO capabilities, and robust security features​​.

8. Implement and test

Once the design and development phases are complete, it's crucial to thoroughly test your website before launch.

Testing checklist:

  • Functionality Testing: Ensure all features and functionalities are working as intended.
  • Usability Testing: Conduct final user testing to ensure the site is intuitive and easy to use.
  • SEO and Performance Testing: Check for SEO compliance and test the site’s performance to ensure fast loading times.
Guys looking at Google search on laptop
Test your website as if you are a visitor.

9. Launch and monitor

After testing, launch your new website. However, the process doesn’t end there. Continuous monitoring and optimisation are essential for ongoing success.

Post-launch activities:

  • Analytics monitoring: Use analytics tools to monitor site performance and user behaviour.
  • Feedback collection: Gather feedback from users to identify any issues or areas for improvement.
  • Ongoing optimisation: Regularly update content and optimise the site based on user feedback and performance data.

Final thoughts

A successful website redesign is a strategic process that involves careful planning, thorough research, and ongoing optimisation. By following this comprehensive guide, you can create a website that not only meets your business goals but also provides an exceptional user experience. 

Plan your website redesign today

Ready to start your website redesign journey? Contact Boost for expert guidance and support.

26 Jun

2024

Why it's a good idea to hire a UX design agency

In a competitive digital landscape, user experience (UX) design has become the cornerstone of any successful online presence. Crafting seamless and intuitive UX has become a necessity for businesses, not just a luxury.

Whether you’re a well-established brand or a startup, partnering with a skilled UX design agency in London can unlock many benefits. 

Here’s why hiring a team of UX experts might be the best decision for your business:

1. Focusing on user-centric design

At the heart of UX design lies a fundamental principle: Understanding and catering to the needs of your users. An agency brings a fresh perspective, free from internal biases or preconceived notions. This is the basis for the work a UX design agency in London will do.

How does a UX agency work?

  • User research: Through surveys, interviews and user testing, the agency delves deep into user behaviour, pain points and motivations. They analyse competitor landscapes and identify industry best practices. This comprehensive research forms the foundation for crafting an experience that resonates with your target audience.
  • User personas: Based on the research, the agency creates detailed user personas. These are fictional representations of your ideal customers. These personas encapsulate demographics, goals, needs and online behaviour patterns. By keeping these personas in mind throughout the design process, the agency ensures every element of your digital product caters to real users, not just hypothetical ones.

2. Creating customer conversion

The main goal of a seamless user experience is to have your potential client work through your customer journey easily, efficiently and successfully. Whether your main goal is to secure a booking or purchase, have them sign up to your newsletter or get them to submit an enquiry, your UX design facilitates this process. 

Computer on table showing booking form
A UX design agency will help you in customer conversion.

This means first identifying what they need, what they’re interested in, how they behave and how they make their decision. This is covered in your user persona profiles and user research.

Then, your UX design agency in London will begin ironing out all the details of the experience. They will focus on optimising the key touch points along the customer journey, ensuring that each interaction is intuitive, engaging and frictionless. Designing easy navigation flows, seamless user interfaces and clear calls to action, your UX designer guides users through the process, reducing abandonment rates and increasing conversion rates.

3. Saving you time and money

As tempting as it may be to tackle UX in-house, partnering with a UX design agency in London is a cost-effective decision.

First, you won’t have to hire a whole new team of employees to get the job done. A skilled UX design agency has already pooled together the best and most creative minds to work on your brand for you. The team is already experienced and well-versed in building products from scratch.

Second, UX work requires specific skills and tools that are not cheap or readily available. A design agency will have access to these and the necessary expertise to use them. A UX design agency has already incorporated using these tools into their design process, so that all you have to do is brief them on the project and they can get started creating your ultimate user experience.

4. Seeing different perspectives

No one knows your business better than you. But that sometimes means getting stuck in a perpetual cycle, not finding innovation in your business. Internal teams can become too comfortable with your brand’s way of doing things, potentially overlooking different solutions.

Agencies bring a wealth of experience working with diverse clients across a range of budgets, projects and industries. They approach your project with fresh eyes, identifying opportunities you might have missed. Through user research, they can introduce new perspectives and challenge existing assumptions in your business.

This diversity of thought fosters a creative and innovative design process, leading to a user experience that stands out in excellence.

Bringing diffrent ideas to the table.

5. Prioritising content creation

During the website and marketing planning process, it is important to start thinking about content. First, knowing what content will be placed where, helps in the layout and design of your website. Second, once you understand your user the next step is to speak to them. This means what your user is reading or seeing is as much a part of their experience as which buttons they are directed to click.

6. Staying on top of latest trends

The online landscape is constantly evolving and UX design trends move quickly. A reputable UX design agency stays at the forefront of these trends, ensuring your digital offering is not only functional but also modern and user-friendly.

This includes staying on top of emerging technologies like AI, voice interfaces or augmented realities. Your UX agency will work out ways to incorporate these trends into your online experience in ways that suit your brand and budget.

Accessibility is also important and keeping your design inclusive should take priority. Your agency will ensure your website and online experience is accessible and usable by everyone, regardless of their abilities.

Hiring A UX Design Agency In London

As a strategic investment, hiring a UX design agency can help you thrive in the digital landscape. By prioritising user-centric design and optimising your customer journey your UX agency can save you time and money as well as provide you with an innovative product.

Using fresh perspectives and the diverse experience of your agency, your brand will be set apart from your competitors. In a competitive environment, it's essential to stay ahead, keeping your brand on top of the latest technology and ensuring your user experience is seamless and accessible.

Schedule A Chat With Our UX Design Team

Boost brands can help you give your customers seamless and intuitive UX.