Web design is the most truly vital art form of the digital age. It’s how artists connect with the modern world using the language that most directly speaks to 21st century audiences. Users’ experience of being on the web is defined by the ingenuity and prowess of the creators who build that world. This makes designers some of the most valuable partners to any present-minded business people.
But finding a designer who possesses all the skills and know-how that you need is easier said than done. When seeking to create a platform that truly represents you and your business, what should you be looking for in a designer to bring your vision to life? That answer will undoubtedly vary depending on your particular needs. But to help you find it, we’re offering you this list of essential qualities which, in our experience, exemplify greatness in our field.
If you work in the web, or if you have a web platform for your own enterprise, these are three letters to live by: SEO – Search Engine Optimization. This means that you are doing everything possible to make sure your website appears high on search technologies like Google, and will therefore be readily found by all your prospective clientele.
Optimizing your website for search is a process, and this process starts with your site’s layout. This involves following a series of best practices, such as including alt-text for images or limiting hidden elements.
One particular focus of our work at 6Ninety9 is your users’ mobile experience. Having a site that’s mobile-ready is one of the key criteria that search engines check for when indexing your site. But more than that, each page is built with SEO in mind, ensuring the layout, tags, images and page descriptions are easy to index for search engines. This significantly increases the amount of views your website will receive, and more views on your website means more business your way.
Building a website means encountering issues, and quickly resolving them to deliver the best possible result for your business. These issues can be simple, like a plugin that’s needed to create the layout a client needs, or something more complex, like encapsulating a client’s vision within their price range. 6Ninety9 uses WordPress, the web content management system with hundreds of plugins for virtually every style of website you can imagine. More than that, it’s our instrument of choice, and we’re virtuosos. Because of that, there’s no problem too great for us to work expediently and give the results you need.
A designer works for the client, and it’s their job to translate the client’s desire into a perfect design framework using their industry expertise.
That’s why it’s exceedingly important to have consistent communication. This includes knowing how to ask the right questions – what are your particular needs? What degree of your business do you expect to operate via the web? Is this page intended for ecommerce or outreach? A good designer will know how to pull together all this information, and synthesize it into the right design for you.
#4: Up-to-date on market trends
If you want to know how current and in touch with the latest trends your designer is, look over their most recent work.
Does it strike you as fresh, relevant, in style – or does it look out of date, reflecting the types of style you typically saw five years ago?
And lastly, the way to tell how much your designer is paying attention to these trends is if they began your transaction by asking for examples of current websites you like. If they didn’t – you should probably avoid working with them.
In order to make your business stand out in a highly competitive market, you need a website that stands out. For that, you need a designer who thinks outside the box, and gives you a design with original touches that put you one step ahead of the competition. In other words, you need a designer who’s an innovator, and creates a design that’s specified for you.
A good website is like a narrative that takes you from the opening – the homepage or splash page – to the conclusion: the call to action. This is the part of the site that takes the visitor where the proprietor wants them to go, whether it’s to subscribe, make a purchase, give a donation, visit a location, etc. Whatever the call to action, the flow of the site must carry them there and make it irresistible – the visitor just has to click on that link or button.
The best web designers are the ones who work in a team. This creates a balance of perspectives and contributions, and a dynamic that incorporates the greatest strengths of all the team members. If you have a designer who works by themselves, then they are only collaborating with themselves – no one to bounce ideas off of, go to for advice or suggestions, or just to take on the aspects of the work that they know best.
Beyond this, a designer should also have a collaborative relationship with their client. This goes back to our earlier point about communication, and how vital it is to a healthy working relationship.
Creating a website is a process. There are a multitude of moving parts, things to remember, and changes that have to be made along the way.
A great web designer has a certain methodology for making sure this process is completed successfully, revisions are made, and the checklist is complete.
Throughout the project, again, they should be communicating, and thereby making their process clear to you. If this isn’t what you find – then it probably isn’t a good fit.
Years in the industry, many client collaborations under their belt, and an extensive portfolio are the marks of a great web designer. These things enable the designer to explain the design process well, ask the right questions and can deliver a great website on a tight deadline.
Furthermore, with experience comes confidence, speed and quick problem solving.
Basically, all the other items on this list are ensured by the training and industry knowledge that a designer gains by being on their grind. When you need a great website, you need a team who you know can handle your needs, and has the years of experience to prove it.
At 6Ninety9, we keep our minds on what makes a great designer, so we know we are striving to make ourselves the greatest designers we can be. And we know we’ve got the work to show for it – we think the results speak for themselves.