There are different roles at a web design agency, but every person involved in building your site has a good grasp of code. They will also need to know just how key the website will also be for the marketing of your business too. Some web design agencies offer customised websites, where you choose the features you require for your business. Others sell all-in-one off the shelf offerings and in turn will not quite be able to give you the overall level of choice. In short, no web designer or design agency is ever the same. This is very much in terms of the ways they will work for you.
There are many types of web design agencies and companies. And they all cater towards different needs. They all present their own advantages and also their own shortcomings too. A UK survey found that 94% of users mistrust of a website was a direct result of the design. The other 6% were content related. Custom web design ensures every area and element is well taken care of all round.
First of all you need to start doing your research
If you tried to research website design companies using a search engine, your search would return a lot of different companies. It’s hard to pick out the bad designers from the commonplace. And even more concerning, it can be tricky to distinguish “okay” web design companies from truly exemplary ones.
Web design or development agency?
One of the first decisions you will need to make is whether you want to work with a web design company, or a web development company. There tends to be a lot of confusion around these two, with people using the terms interchangeably. However, there are some essential differences between the two. A web design agency focuses on the creative side of the website creation process. They will create a viable website out of the vision, ideas and brand of their client. They know what looks good, and what doesn’t. And they lend their expertise to create a visually stunning site. This will be tailor made for the wants and needs of the customer.
A web development company is more skilled with the technical side of website development. Their skills lie in their technical and programming capabilities. They are familiar with code, and create technically complex websites. But their strengths may not lie in their visual design capabilities. What type of website creation company you should choose depends on your needs. If you need a site with a lot of technically complex elements such as databases, a web developer may be more suitable. But if the aesthetic is more relevant, a web design agency will be the better choice. And of course, there are companies that offer both services.
Understand in full the job of a web designer
A web designer helps you with the visuals of your website. They’re usually creative, artistic people who have a good eye for what looks good and what doesn’t, as well as knowledge of what audiences want. One of the best ways to understand what a web designer is is to consider the difference between a web designer vs. a web developer. Web development refers to the functions of the site, such as the features, applications, and elements that are essential to your website being fit for purpose.
A web designer works with things like the color palette of your site, the images, and the layout. The designer is primarily responsible for how the site looks when it’s launched. Nowadays, the terms “web designer” and “web developer” are used interchangeably. So if you’re looking to have a site built from scratch, you would usually hire an agency that incorporates both web design AND development.
Also understand the main processes that are involved
A web designer’s main role and area of expertise is in converting what may be a vague idea or a complex vision into a visual design and usable interface that catches the user’s attention and works. Thankfully, good web designers have many UX and UI principles such as “user-centred design”. This is all as a means to help guide them in creating something that is visually and aesthetically pleasing and offers a great user experience. User-centred design is about making sure the client’s needs, objectives, and feedback are front and centre throughout the whole design process.
Another key framework is “Information Architecture (IA)”. IA helps web designers organise and structure the content of the websites using, for instance, visual hierarchies which help convey the level of importance of elements. Other methodologies such as “Material Design” are dedicated to providing a “real” and tactile experience to users. Material Design is inspired by how we interacted with materials. It adapts such learnings to the use of space, style, shadow, and edges in digital experiences. Web designers require a combination of individual creative flair with knowledge of universal design principles. In this way, they can design a website environment and interface that is consistent, easy to navigate and use, and is already familiar to the users’ eyes.
Be sure to ask as many questions as you need to as to how they will work
Make sure you ask a web agency lots of questions before you sign up for their services. You’ll find most of the information you require on the company’s website, but you should still speak to a member of staff and find out more. For example, obtain a quote for the services you require. Then, ask if this amount includes hidden fees or other costs. Not every web agency is upfront about their prices, so make sure you get a full estimate for your project. You can also ask an agency about their accessible design practices and customer service principles.
Ask about other areas such as page loading speeds
Page loading times are a pet peeve for the bulk of website users. Slow-loading pages can increase your churn rate — the number of people who visit your site and then click on the “back” button on their browser. Pick a web design agency that creates eye-catching pages that don’t slow down your site. Even website elements that increase loading times by a few seconds could have a detrimental impact on your sales. Research suggests that pages with a 2.4-second loading time experience a modest 12.8 percent bounce rate. Pages with a 3.3-second loading time, however, experience a significantly higher 20 percent bounce rate.
Never forget the SEO
Many websites possess a great view but do not have SEO-friendly elements. Search engine optimisation involves many aspects, among which website themes, elements layout matters a lot. So, a web design must be SEO friendly to provide a good user experience. That’s why a website design agency has so many other functions other than creating a beautiful web design.
Web design and web development are two fundamentally different parts of the web creation process. Each with its own unique and essential roles. Make sure your website project includes them both by working with a team that knows each inside and out. If you can, look to go with a full service agency as they will be able to help oversee every area and aspect of the process too. This means you will have a great deal less stress from your end in how you are able to oversee and manage the process too.