Expert roundup: hiring a web designer (Part 2)

You may know the questions you want to ask a web designer when seeing if they’re a good fit. You know your goals, after all. But do you know the questions that an agency representative or individual designer may want to be asked to help you achieve your vision?

The right questions can help both the designer and your team address issues up front. They can guide your vision. They can even settle arguments and conflicts before they happen. We sat down with designers and agency leads to help find the one question that they want their clients to ask.


What’s the best question a client could ask?

Jason Schwartz, Managing Director at Bright Bright Great

Bright Bright Great is a brand strategy focused interactive agency located in Chicago and Las Vegas.

Can I pay double?' Really, though, we can't read clients minds, so we wish they would ask questions that they have been thinking about but haven't shared with our team.


Ian Loew, Owner of Lform Design

Lform Designs creates thoughtful, well designed custom websites for mid-market B2B companies that increase sales.

When do you arrive and leave the office? Get a true sense of how dedicated I am.


Matt Bowman, President of Thrive Internet Marketing Agency

Since 2005, Thrive has created gorgeous, effective websites that are custom-designed to their clients’ needs and specifications.

What can I do to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible?


Andrew Ruditser, Co-Founder & Lead Technology Coordinator at MAXBURST, Inc.

MAXBURST is a top-rated NYC website design & digital marketing agency focused on creative and results-driven solutions.

I wish that clients interested in working with us would ask more about the qualifications of our staff and who exactly will be working on their project. We always hire skilled web professionals that can ensure a project's success so I always enjoy the opportunity to speak about my staff.


Tim Frick, CEO of Mightybytes, Inc.

Mightybytes helps mission-driven organizations create sustainable growth and amplify their impact.

Can we test that to be sure it will work for our target audience?


Nat Rosasco, Principal+Creative Director at Olive Street Design

Olive Street Design helps businesses grow by creating a web design and marketing strategy that’s authentically you.

Honestly, if we find clients aren't asking the right questions, we proactively fill in those blanks for them. We know the questions they should be asking and preemptively weave that into our conversation so they have all the best, complete information.


Jared Ponchot, Creative Director at Lullabot

Lullabot is one of the foremost strategy, design, and Drupal development companies for large-scale publishers of household-name websites in the entertainment, education, and government verticals.

1. "How should we prepare to work with you?” So many of the discussions during an agency hiring process revolve around how the agency will adapt to the practices of the client. This is very important, but equally important, is the client being open to refining some of their practices which could lead to greater benefits and increased odds for success. Oftentimes, this doesn’t come up until a project is well underway or is not discussed at all.

2. "How can I build on what I already have to achieve my organization’s goals?” Most clients want to re-platform soup to nuts or redesign from scratch. It would be great to see more clients thinking with an Agile mindset by being willing to consider ruthless prioritization and iterative development within the scope of ongoing operational budgets rather than waiting for their site to come crumbling down only to have to rebuild it from scratch.

3. "After hearing why we’re doing this project, is there anything else you suggest we do in order to achieve our goals aside from what we’ve specifically asked for?” A lot of times clients know what they want (or think they do). In either scenario, asking this simple question creates opens dialog for more effective collaboration.


Dan Bowen, CEO of Bowen Media

Bowen is an award-winning creative digital agency that partners with businesses to create powerful, enduring results.

How can we leverage the site post-launch? What will our involvement be during the lifecycle of the project?


Gabriel Shaoolian, Founder & CEO of DesignRush.com

DesignRush features the top agencies both locally and globally.

Who will be working on my project? Clients should compare apples to apples when interviewing agencies and that means they should see who they are getting on their team.


Kara Jensen, Creative Principal at Bop Design

Bop Design helps B2B companies all over the world in establishing a brand identity, creating an engaging website design and utilizing content marketing to drive inbound marketing leads.

Be sure to ask what the price for a website includes. When you are evaluating different proposals from web design companies, make sure you compare apples to apples before you make a decision. Many times web design firms will just give you a price for design or development. While other firms will give you a price that is all inclusive of design, development, copywriting, photography/video and SEO. You may decide to go with the lower priced firm but that can often cost you more time and money in the end.


Andy Crestodina, Co-founder / CMO at Orbit Media Studios

Orbit is a web design and development company in Chicago. We've done 1500+ projects over 18 years.

Can you show me the results (as in, Analytics) of similar projects you've done for similar companies?


Ruth Gonzalez

Ruth Gonzalez

More articles written by Ruth.

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