Expert roundup: hiring a web designer (Part 3)

Ruth G. | October 28, 2020
7 mins

No matter how many projects you’ve run, there’s always one - a thing you didn’t know you needed at the beginning. It may be about feedback, timing, or even as simple as when someone is available for a weekly phone call. Getting this one thing straightened out in the beginning can help alleviate pains before they occur and help your new website launch run more smoothly.

We sat down with designers and agency leads to help find the one thing that they want more of their clients to take the initiative on.

How can a client help you do your job better?

Jason Schwartz, Managing Director at Bright Bright Great

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

This is different with each client, but having a client adhere to their side of a project calendar for feedback, responses and decisions are usually a hang-up. Every client thinks they can do this in 1-2 business days, but forget that internal stakeholders will be out of town during milestones and can't reach them, ultimately adding a delay.

Ian Loew, Owner of Lform Design

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

Getting timely feedback and/or content.

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.

Getting stuck on minor details right before go-live is a big one. Some clients tend to get into a perfectionism trap, trying to make sure every tiny detail of their site is perfect before they go live. However, they're delaying the launch of their optimized, refreshed design, which is most likely losing revenue the longer it stays un-launched to work on minor details.

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.

The most common issues we run into with certain projects is the “too many cooks in the kitchen syndrome”. We frequently rely on our clients to provide us with proper feedback during the course of the project. When too many people are involved in an organization it becomes very confusing to organize and execute the change requests. We are very good at honing clients in when this occurs and making one person the point on communication. This comes with experience working with clients and successfully launching websites for over a decade now.

Tim Frick, CEO of Mightybytes, Inc.

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

Managing expectations around prioritization and assumptions.

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.

Hands down, the biggest problem is scope creep. Once a project is clearly defined and contracts have been signed, it's really important to stay within scope to remain focused and on track. When clients lose sight of our focused goals and scope of project, it's important to get them back on track really quickly.

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.

One of the biggest challenges is a desire to “filter” communication from difficult or busy (but important) stakeholders. Project stakeholders may be tempted to not have the designers/developers in the room when the CEO or other decision-maker reviews things. This can cause an agency to fall short of expectations because they were never clearly conveyed to them, or different expectations were given priority. It’s usually best for communication to happen in as unfiltered a manner as possible to avoid additional problems or limit opportunities for greater success.

Dan Bowen, CEO of Bowen Media

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

Copywriting can be a bit more challenging than clients anticipate. Client’s often take this responsibility in-house but don’t always have professional copywriting resources available.

Gabriel Shaoolian, Founder & CEO of

DesignRush features the top agencies both locally and globally.

Client changes their mind, they want to edit or add a feature and sometimes they don't understand its out of scope and they think the agency is nickel and diming them.

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.

I think many clients underestimate the amount of decision making and consensus building that need to be done internally. They are often confused about why websites take as long as they do, but once the project commences, the most frequent delay is just getting answers or feedback from clients. The fewer people involved in the project, the quicker it goes. Regardless we are patient and help educate/coach clients through the process, trying to make it as easy as possible.

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.

Expectation setting is the biggest challenge, since businesses and web designers often have completely different understandings of the process and the requirements. Then the communication issues begin. Every web design project has a team with a rookie player: the client. This isn't a problem if everyone trusts the coach and sticks with the playbook.


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Ruth G.

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