Full disclosure, I develop and sell websites. Every week I meet companies and people who are looking for professional designers, and naturally, I would like some of them to choose me.
But I have been noticing during such conversations that people often don’t ask utmost important questions which matter a lot for selecting the right designers.
Meeting with a web-design company is almost an interview: You have to make sure their business is genuine, and you should get to know more about the culture of the company.
Mostly, you need to understand or think their approach to the unique challenges being tackled with the project.
This question will help you to know how to differentiate between proficient web designers and beginners.
Inquiring about usability will help you understand about the company’s focus and right direction – specifically, whether they know about the most important thing or not: the visitor.
Companies without giving satisfying answer to this question may build a good website that they like or we can like. However, the visitors are likely to have difficulty to use it; at times, they may get confused in finding or locating the things on the website. Your goal is to find a web design firm, which thinks at the top level about, i.e., user-centered design.
Best people who work in web design will light up when you introduce usability to them. They will be very happy to hear this; in fact, they would love to share their opinions and experiences about this. Chances are brighter that they will urge you to have all this implemented perfectly.
“I’m excited you asked about this. We very much rely on user-centered design, and use to do usability testing whenever it is necessarily required. We are visitors’ advocates and will preserve their interests with concrete evidence, fact and research.”
Ask for previous examples with similar goals and features.
Need an event planning and registration tool in the website? Talk with those people who can show you the one. That way you can inquire why it was developed in a certain way, what challenges you faced, what results you took into account to measure the effectiveness, and how those results helped you to attain the project’s goals.
Suppose they haven’t been experienced or built any of similar type of website before. Are they up-front about it? How can they make the actual website as we wish? Do they have any unique ideas? What challenges would they expect to come?
Is design your only first priority? Rather than searching a firm that can show you the portfolio piece to meet your needs, instead I would like to advise you to find a company that can show wide range of designs. This indicates a well-established and highly creative philosophy: a company that listens first to its clients and their needs, considers the brand image very seriously, doesn’t advice, and goes with one-size-fits-all approach to the design process.
“Sure! Let’s have a look at a few of now . . . . “
The question will immediately reveal the truth if the team is in-house or outsourced.
It has been found that many companies use to farm out the various parts of a project. Perhaps the firm you are planning to hire or consider is a reliable partner company. Or maybe they are an ad hoc team of freelancers who have never met and worked together before – and who may not be there to meet you down the road.
Or is it just a team at all? The “firm” you are talking with could in fact be run by one person offering all type of services to sell the project, including planning, analyzing, designing, coding and managing the server. Is that company likely to be a master of all those things?
For any project with serious goals, you need to be ready with a team of specialists. If the team is of just 1 or 2 members, ask about their ability to handle your project. Will they continue to make attempts to engage new clients while working on your project? How important is your project really to them?
“All team is in-house, and use to works together on similar projects most of the team.”
2nd Best Answer:
“We have a partner company located in same area, but everyone works on similar projects most of the time.”
One of the most fundamental differences in all web-development companies is their approach to ongoing requisite changes.
Most of the websites will change over time. Some companies charge hourly to make or update changes as per requestedby client, while others set up a content management tool to provide all sort of free provisions before in hand in order to update text, upload images or videos, and add pages etc.
“We will be setting up a tool in order to provide all sort of usual required provision in there, so you can do it by yourself or your team anytime without any extra cost.”
Don’t worry, you can still ask this question whether it sounds to be a bit technical. However, it does really matter a lot in terms of measuring return on investment (ROI) of your overall project success.
Be ready to hear some technical terms like; bounce rate, unique visitors, returning visitors, spending time on site, inbound-links, search ranking influence, conversion rate etc. If you hearing something from a web design firm but are unable to grasp the idea because you are not familiar with those technical things, ask them to explain it in simple language.
“We measure bounce rate, unique visitors, returning visitors, spending time on site, conversion rate etc. We aim to design and build the website in order to get quality leads, so these are the most important measuring metrics. We use Analytics tool to track and measure all sort of traffic being come to your website or any particular webpage, and we can guide you with thorough steps for measuring this as well.