How to cultivate a great relationship with your web designer
The relationship between a client and a web designer takes time and effort, just like any other relationship. It is fundamental in order to achieve the best results and create a successful point of contact with customers. Therefore at the theroom we developed a few tips to make the client-web designer relationship a growing and last-longing romance.
Set clear goals, boundaries and expectations
The briefing process is the ideal time to set a clear view of what the project will look like from start to finish. To ensure there are no surprises for designers and clients alike, this is when you should share all of your ideas so they can be integrated into the wireframes and design concepts. Sure, you may be inspired by something later on, but if you have something in mind that you haven’t verbalised it might not make it to the finished website.
Amendments and change requests are an everyday part of life for web designers, but when they are late in the project or haven’t been discussed prior they can really throw a spanner in the works. Being very clear at the start of the project about how you handle these changes saves a lot of heartache later.
Whilst most design agencies want you to feel like the only client in the world, the truth is that they have a number of clients briefing work in and a lot of projects launching. For the most part, web design agencies are great at juggling. To be fair to everyone, take ten minutes during the brief to gain an understanding of the agencies turn around times for projects and communication.
Find out how frequently you’ll receive updates, what the milestones are and how quickly you can expect a response to an email or phone call. Your agency may also need to know how long it will take for them to receive feedback or signoff so they can plan other projects accordingly.
Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns – or take on feedback
After setting clear goals and finding the perfect communication plan, clients should feel as though they are in a safe space to voice concerns. Feedback is critical for a great project – particularly when it is specific and actionable.
One of the things web designers may hear during the feedback process is “I don’t know what it is, but I’m not sure about it”. Typically this is when a client has quickly glanced over the proofs and needs a bit more guidance to find out what it is that isn’t sitting right. A good web designer and account manager is able to take a step back and work with the client to put their finger on what they don’t like.
Feedback not being actionable brings work on the website to a grinding halt. If the change requires a rework of the wireframes or development that was out of the initial scope it can be frustrating for both the client and designer. At each milestone it’s important for everyone to be on the same page about what is and isn’t achievable for the budget, time or project. Truly listen and take on the agencies feedback so that you share the same expectations for the website.
Think of the agency – or client – as an extension of your team
The best relationships between agencies and clients are just that – relationships. Work with each other to get to know one another. Has the client had a bad experience in the past? Maybe the designer has worked on a client facing a similar problem. Perhaps you both love Star Wars Battlefront and can break the tension with some game chat. Finding that middle ground is the key to a creative and flexible relationship.
Fostering a strong bond between client and agency means that everyone involved is more open. The pressure shifts from making sure the client is happy to making sure the project is mind blowing. That means a better result all round.