A lot of caution is warranted when looking for a reliable and cost-effective design firm. Making the wrong choice can be devastating if the money is badly spent. Be careful dealing with companies you find online that have no history of good work and don’t provide reliable work samples. We all know that getting scammed online is possible and happening every day. Take your time and research, not just one company, but several. Locating and hiring the right design partner will make the journey fun and enjoyable.
Meeting your designer:
If your designer of choice is not local, you can alway meet him or her by Skype or over Face Time. For safety sake and to make sure you are compatible and a good fit, this connection is an insurance policy against making a bad choice. Speaking in person seems to help both the designer and the client to understand the brand’s vision. Communication is key to developing a good partnership between client and designer. Any misunderstandings can be addressed and the real work can begin.
A few complaints we hear about:
- My design firm took my deposit and it has been several months with no word from them.
- We hired someone in the states but now our project has been turned over to someone overseas.
- Our design is online for our review and we are unhappy with the work to this point.
- Our design firm went out of business and we cannot get our deposit back or reach them.
- My webmaster does not get back with us in a timely manner regarding changes.
- My design company does not offer some features and provides no custom programming.
- I chose a “free” web design offer I found online and I’m unhappy with the outcome.
- i had another company design my site and it does not show up in any search results.
Location and size of the design firm:
The location of the design firm is not as important now as in the past since design firms can offer design services from anywhere around the globe. Inside Design Orlando is located in the Central Florida area and we offer free design consultations with clients. Although there is no cost associated with our design consultations, some design firms do charge for this initial meeting. Ask about consultation fees before arranging a meeting. Although a smaller design firm may be able to keep costs low since they have less overhead and hire less staff, larger firms may offer more design talent and custom programming not offered by smaller firms.
Choosing a less expensive design option:
Cheap is not always the best choice and a comparison should be made between companies and what they offer. If you make the wrong choice, you could be throwing good money after a bad final result. Because of this negative outcome, the cheaper option may cost more down the road. Most competitive firms charge similar pricing. Ask what hourly amount is charged for design and find out if different design packages are available. Checking with more than one company will give you the advantage of price comparison and educate you on what costs are associated with which services.
Designer portfolio of work says it all:
The design samples (company portfolio) will give you a full picture of how talented the designer is and if they are right for you. Beware if you are unable to ask for references from others who have hired this company. Design samples available on their website should be the final product and you should be able to freely contact the website owner to ask for a reference.
Designer bios …. is this important?
Learning who you are hiring is very important. Ask for the name of the individual designer assigned to your project and read his or her biography and work history. If a team will be working on your new design, ask about each and what role they will be playing toward the finished product. Smart technology methods change constantly. A designer who is not interested in staying current with new design trends is not a good option for you. Inquire as to how many websites the firm has developed and how long they have been in business. Asking these questions up front will save money and help you to determine the best fit for your project. You want to be proud and confident with your new site and last but certainly not least you want to spend your money wisely. Be pro-active and do your research “before committing” to a design firm.
Should I always compare proposals and terms?
Yes, you should request a cost proposal and the terms and conditions agreement. This will also give you a break-down of all features and functionality included. By comparing the different proposals, you’ll be able to determine which one works best for you. Read the fine print and make sure you are not getting into an agreement you’ll be unhappy with after the ink has dried and you’ve spent your hard-earned money.
Thanks for stopping by today. Inside Design Orlando offers many specials throughout the year so we invite you to follow us and learn more about how we continue to generate online success. Contact us for a “free” design consultation to discuss your next design project.
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Stay tuned next time as we welcome guest blogger, Designer Paul Rose. He will be discussing tools used by successful designers.
Jean Holland-Rose is the Chief Creative Officer overseeing brand development, SEO and graphic design for Inside Design Orlando.