Making strong decisions with a designer, developer, or marketer

When a person looks for a designer, it’s important to know what to look for. I’ve been hired in the past for projects requesting to do things outside the project guidelines. Where this can be something that is flexible and can usually still be done, it is important to know what to look for and what to expect.

1. Know what you’re looking for
Let the designer/developer/marketer know what you would like to have completed, and if there is anything else you would like, let him or her know as soon as possible. If you’re posting a job request in the paper or the internet, be familiar with the basic professions to ensure that they can have the job completed.

Graphic Designer - Focuses on visual, published design such as business cards, stationary, graphical arts, event posters, etc. Nowadays graphic designers often know the basics of XHTML and CSS, the basic presentation and visual aspects of web design.

Web/Website Designer - Web designers are (hopefully) gurus expertising in XHTML and CSS. They will likely have experience doing dynamic page elements and you can count on them to build page mockups right to putting the website live.

Web Developer - Developers have selected dynamic languages that they know, and they will know XHTML and CSS. A dynamic language provides two-way interaction to the page, so the user can post things and interact with the site, like facebook, wikipedia, and any comment form. You can count on a developer to build you a webpage and put it live, but ensure they can do the graphical layout of the site before hiring.

Internet Marketer - These folks (usually) know what they’re doing when it comes to promoting a website and knows the fine art practices of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For businesses, expect to see a rise in business after having optimization if the job is done properly. There is a sub-breed of these called Social Media Marketers that will help build your business exclusively through trendy social media systems like facebook, twitter, technorati, and more. Web Designers and Developers will often offer this, but look around, prices heavily vary.

Programmers - Programmers create software, and know the more comprehensive languages such as C+ and Java. For the web, they have the flexibility to make technical, advanced web plugins such as custom built chat rooms, IM systems, uploading systems, and more.

2. Get what you want
Don’t expect less! If you’re paying well-earned money, ensure that you’re at peace with the final product and that you will be satisfied with it in the long run. The designer, developer, marketer, or programmer should respond to all the requests you make them, so be firm about it and get what you want.

3. Ask for a finished product
This is a biggie. I’ve had a client that requested me to script a quick website mockup, only to switch to a different incomplete layout later on. This prevents you from having an aesthetically great web layout, but instead a flawed product which the designer will often not be proud to put in his or her portfolio. Having a quality-over-quantity mindset will ensure that the project will pay itself off and be rewarding to everyone.

Related posts:

  1. Making a perfect grid-aligned website using Gridfox and Firebug
  2. 10 Ways to be a More Efficient Freelance Web Designer
  3. Idea engineering: Making your content unique
  4. A website is more than just good design

Robin Bastien
Howdy! I'd the head of Ocular Harmony. I spend most of my time designing, reading beatnick literature, and pounding sound waves of experimental pulsation into my brain's frontal lobes. Contact me if you have any questions!

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