Web designer expectations…. my goodness, this question is more complicated than it sounds!
Are you asking if what you are getting is normal, or if you should expect more? Are you wondering what all you will get by hiring a web designer? Or are you asking what is a reasonable expectation from your designer? Or are you asking why designers are so odd?
Building a website is a three part process.
A website is a combination of at least three things. Design, functionality, and marketing. It would be ideal to have all three of these skills in one person. If they are not you will need to hire a couple more people, or a company to work on your site. For now, let’s assume the designer is not one of those people that understand marketing and SEO. They are only designers.
Are you getting what is expected from your designer?
A designer will produce a graphical image of what your site will look like once it is complete. The text and content will not be what you will use exactly.
For example, I use latin filler text for my site designs.
Depending on how familiar they are with the project they will use stock images that may or may not be related to the theme of the website. The above images are stock images available for free. The client may opt to change them out for their own product images, which is fine, this is only to show what the site might look like.
The site layout should be pretty easy to understand and navigate. Sometimes the artist will produce wireframes first, and then mockups when the design is more finalized.
The design should be easy to navigate and understand. It won’t be functional at this stage unless your designer knows more than just graphic art. Some designers opt to do their design work on the site itself. They will build the site and then make the changes to the site itself. That way you can log on to your site and test it on different devices to see how it is progressing.
Remember, if you only hire an artist you will need to hire someone to build your site and someone to market your site.
The good thing is that most web designers are qualified to build the site. The area they are probably lacking is marketing, which in turn could hurt your design some. More on that later.
Guess what? You have a roll in this too.
If you could show the designer examples of work that you like that will help tremendously.
Explaining your website’s goal helps the designer and marketer to plan on how they will achieve your goals.
Expect your designer to hand over to you a finished product.
You should get a copy of your site and it should be in a layered PSD file. Worst case scenario you get the site in a jpg. Get the psd if at all possible. Also get a list of the fonts and make sure you have the rights to use them. If the designer purchased a stock image from istockphoto or equivalent site, make sure you have proof that you can use the photo on your site. Get whatever permissions you need to make sure no one tries to bill you later.
This is what to expect when you hire a web designer.
Just remember the look of your site is only a small portion of what makes a website successful. You will need to talk SEO and marketing with someone; local seo, image seo, inbound marketing and so on.
Good luck and Happy hunting.
Author: Timothy Eberly
Timothy is a web design and graphic artist that has been working in the business for over 20 years and has designed and built thousands of websites including one for a major ad firm in Spokane. In addition to graphic design and web development he also worked as a photographer on several films made in the Spokane area. You can connect with him on facebook and Google+.