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What to Expect When Working With A Web Design Agency

When looking for a web design agency, setting your own (and your company’s) expectations is paramount to having a good experience. Here’s our top list of what to look for.

Clearly, there’s plenty one needs to know about working with an agency for your website design or redesign. Website design is overwhelming enough. Being aware of your website needs, understanding the process, and knowing what to look for in a web design agency will make each step of your website design (or redesign) a little easier. 

An Extension of Your Marketing Team

A web design agency (which is not the same as your web development company) should function as a part of your marketing team—with very specific duties and significant experience. Look at an agency’s past work. Ask for references. Visit aggregate sites to see reviews with comments and ratings from current and past customers. Seeing the full picture of expectations and reality (from other clients particularly) can help set your own expectations. The web design agency you choose to work with should—most of all—make your life easier.

A Proven Process

Clarity is key. Everything about the web design agency’s process should be crystal-clear. In addition to having a clear-cut, explainable approach, you should feel comfortable following their process, not your own, as this will lead to the best outcome. (Think home field advantage.) They already know how it should go, and this will help the agency’s team keep the project running smoothly and in scope, and help ensure deadlines are met.

At Solid Digital, we have a distinct process for all of our projects:

  • Learn – We get to know more through questions, research, and listening
  • Strategize – Learning and discovery helps us create a blueprint around your goals
  • Create – Designing, developing and writing
  • Grow – Watch your brand grow, bolstered by your website and new marketing habits

An Understandable Timeline

In addition to a process, the timeline should be determined at the outset. First things first, you should tell the web design agency your ideal launch date (and why) and whether it’s flexible. A good agency will thoughtfully create a timeline along with you, and will create tasks and particular milestones that fall within the exact start and end dates you agree on.

For example, when your team knows when they’re responsible for giving a round of feedback to the agency, the agency is counting on that coming in. Any delay on any portion of the feedback rounds from your side can seriously delay the project. If your feedback is late, the team member assigned to make changes based on said feedback may be busy with another project when your project reaches them; this can have huge consequences on your launch date. The project timeline isn’t randomly or arbitrarily made. Communicate out-of-office dates and other aspects that could impact the timeline so you can be ready for your tasks when the ball is in your court.

A Dedicated Team

A web design agency should have a team dedicated to you and to your project. The team will likely include a dedicated account manager, project manager, designer, developer and strategist – or some similar mix depending on your project and needs. You should be introduced to the key players early on and have an easy way to communicate with the team. If you aren’t sure who the key players are during the sales process as you search for a new agency, ask! Most agencies will gladly bring in team members to meet potential clients.

Well-Defined + Documented Scope

No surprises here! The best web design agency is one that is thorough and defines the scope well, both verbally, and in documentation. The signed scope and contract shows the accurate timeline and clarifies what is included and who is filling each role that’s integral to your website redesign. Anything that would fall “outside of the scope” with additional costs is made clearer by what is included. This can help set your expectations as well.

Expert Advice and Sound Guidance

The web design agency you choose should offer expert advice and sound guidance with plenty of reasoning. Years of experience along with proof of good partnership (through reviews and testimonials) will help you get a feel for the agency’s historical successes. Continue to ask questions; don’t underestimate your gut feel when it comes to trust.

Along with this, your team should be ready to answer questions and hand over some information so they can better help you, too. The agency will need information such as your:

  • Google Analytics account (to see top landing pages)
  • Ideal customer profiles
  • User journeys (to see where users go in the site)
  • Sales cycle (to see where drop offs may be occurring)

With this information, your agency can boost your efforts and understand where you need to go next with your site.

Your biggest expectation for hiring a top web design agency should be good partnership, full of transparency, collaboration, honesty, guidance, and expertise.

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