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Client meetings can be long winded and very repetitive as web designers like myself often find that we are repeating the same information over and over, covering the same issues. It always helps the web designer if the client has a general understanding of what they want and what works in web design and what doesn’t. Obviously, a web designer would not expect that client to spell out the project to them, that’ why the client has come to them, they do not have sufficient knowledge to do so. If a client has a general understanding of website design when undertaking a project then the likelihood of that project being successful is increased tenfold.
This is not a criticism of client, or people who don’t know too much about website design, just a general guide about what’s helpful to know before undertaking a project.
The quality of a finished project directly relates to the quality of the client, they have final say on how to design the site. There is a myth that you can hire a web designer and walk away expecting the finished site to be exactly as you imagined. In my freelance web designer Yorkshire business I always strive to keep clients in the loop, communication is key! It is important to keep the client informed and educated throughout the whole process, this means you can address any problems straight away.
We designers can only really point the client in the right direction, using our expertise we are able to tell a client what will work and what won’t work, but they have final say on what to include. This is why it is important keep them informed and educated throughout, so they will make the decisions that is best for their site. A good client is an involved client.
A client’s role is arguably the most difficult of the whole process, as web designers we try to push them in the right direction through our knowledge and expertise. However, a client must be able to define a long term vision for the website, they must understand where they want it to go. They must also promote the site, be held responsible for all the content which will go on the site as well as being a project co-coordinator and make tough final decisions.
Clients are expected to do this all with a general knowledge of web design, that it’s why it is imperative that as web designers we educate them throughout the whole project. Web designers must use their expertise not only to guide a client in the right direction but to help them make their own decisions.
Getting feedback from the client often comes with their suggestions on what to do, the designer should always ask the reasoning behind these suggestions in order to ascertain what problem the client is trying to overcome. A client could say ‘include a forum’ as they want to communicate directly to the consumer more, there may be better ways to tackle a clients problem but if the designer is only offered solutions, not problems then the issue may never be solved.
Clients need to make decisions throughout the whole project, however sometimes that decision should be to let the web designer resolve the issue rather than trying to tackle it themselves. Again, it all comes down to great communication from both parties.
There needs to be an ownership of the site, this is to stop a newly designed site falling into decay. Typically, following the sign off from a project, the site will look good and have great, new and update content. Slowly the site will begin t look dated and the content will no longer be fresh, after a while a client will stop directing people to the site and begin the process of designing another one.
This means, for the majority of the old site’s life it is obsolete and no longer helpful to the client’s brand. Furthermore, the cost of designing a new site every few years begins to mount, it is much more cost effective to consider a website management plan, such as my freelance web designer Bradford company offers.
A website manager will keep your site fresh and updated and financially is a much better option for a business’ site as they avoid having to design a website every few years.
Even with the best designed site, if a client’s copy is not up to scratch, the website will be doomed to fail. A client often overlooks this and decides to embark upon writing the content themselves, often with little success. Producing content for an online platform is unlike writing for anywhere else, simply copying and pasting content from around the web or reproducing printed copy will not work. What a client will end up with is content that does not help the website, let alone work to boost the page further up Google.
If a client’s content production is not up to scratch it is well worth them hiring a copywriter in order to get the most success out of their site.
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