Ready to build a new website?
If you really want to see a great job done now its time to focus.
In order for your design team to come up with something in line with your vision, its important that you give them not only clear direction, but also assets to work with.
- Get some original design assets for the team to work with.
For example: If you want the background to be a particular way (something other than white or a solid colour) you need to give your team direction – or better still assets to work with. Google images is your friend! You can search for images and then ask the creative team to apply a blur or filters to make it original material that is then your original material to use. Alternatively, you can also get out your watercolours or camera and create original background imagery of your own. You will be surprised how satisfying this is actually having a give them some more water colours to work with or alternatively share the water colours you already have.
- Determine your fonts and colours you want to use.
Equally, for the fonts, colours, structure, etc, you should identify to the design team the elements you want used. All this needs to be done in one go and cannot be done piecemeal. This is generally expected before you allow the designers to start. Good client management by a web design agency actually actually puts these questions to you as the client prior to the design team starting any design so that the first round of designs more closely mirrors the intentions of the client – but it rarely happens like that – so its great to be on the front foot. I have sat in many first design meetings and seen what the designers have pushed back to the client only to see the client bitterly disappointed by an element that would never have appeared if the client had just said in the first place something like “under no circumstances can we use the colour red”. I am sure that from the designers perspective they almost always try to put in front of the client what they have heard you identify to them in the first place – as closely as possible. Keep in mind, you don’t want to use one of your design revisions (what the web designers use to manage the amount of changes a client is allowed to make) on elements that could have easily been identified to the designer at the outset. Remember, you will not be allowed endless design revisions – generally you will be charged additional for design revisions beyond those agreed in the original contract.
- Identify site fonts, h1-h6
- Identify site colours (hex codes) these are the colours for the fonts, h1-6, backgrounds (if not image backgrounds), menus, sidebars, ALL the elements.
- Print out current designs and mark up by hand how you would like to see the next round of designs differ from those you have already received. Numbering the elements and then referring to those in a seperate “Design Scope” document is a good way to keep the page clear and unconfused with scribble. You might want to start with a few drafts before submitting a final. It is a work in progress after all. Alternatively, you can rework and mark up the jpegs using the editing tools in preview.
- Dropbox design assets and briefing information to the design team.
Sit with the design team to walk them through it step by step, taking notes and updating the design scope document. I strongly urge against simply passing the vision and assets across via email and hoping that you will get what you are hoping for.
Only through identifying what you do want (& hey even just identifying what you don’t want is a good start) can you give clear direction to the design team thus increasing the chance of receiving back a workable set if designs.
Sit with the design team to walk them through it step by step, taking notes and updating the design scope document.
I strongly urge against simply passing the vision and assets across via email and hoping that you will get what you are hoping for.
Only through identifying what you do want (& hey even just identifying what you don’t want is a good start) can you give clear direction to the design team for your new website thus increasing the chance of receiving back a workable set if designs.