Do you notice the designs around you on a daily basis? Nearly everything we interact with has certain design elements that make it what it is. A can of Coca-Cola has been expertly designed, likely by a full team of designers. Billboards, advertisements, product packaging, and book covers have a dedicated design agency behind the scenes.
But what about websites? Businesses often build their websites through website builders and images they already have. However, in many ways, a website is just like a billboard, a soda can, or even a book cover. Potential clients and customers use your website as a first impression of your brand.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of hiring a website design agency while covering five helpful tips for doing so. Let’s get right into it!
Table of Contents
1. Decide What Your Goals Are
Half the work of getting a good product from a design agency is being a good client. When you hire a design agency, you are forming a relationship with this agency. A partnership brings the best results for any creative endeavor as long as both parties participate. There are many resources available for design client etiquette, but one of the most important things to consider is what your GOAL is.
That’s right, your goal is not necessarily the final result of your project. The reason for this distance between the expected final result and goals is that you are likely not a designer if you are hiring an agency. Design agencies are subject matter experts, and they need to have control over half of the obligation in creating a website for you.
While this is our first tip, you should also consider this as your first step to finding the right design firm for your project. It can be extremely valuable to come into the design process with a goal but remain open-minded when you consult with the experts.
2. Figure Out What Kind of Design Agency You Can Hire
Not all businesses or brands are built alike. Your budget for design may be limited, or it might be unlimited. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes businesses go through the entire process of trying to hire an agency without realizing that their budget constraints don’t work well with the agency’s rates.
Depending on your budget, you might have access to the full breadth of available design agencies that work on the market at any given time. If your budget is small, you might have limited options. But there’s nothing wrong with hiring a small agency. In fact, small agencies often have extra freedom to take creative liberties, be trendsetters, and put a lot of heart into their projects. Those with big budgets and small budgets alike may select these agencies.
Because of this variety in pricing and skill in the design world, we recommend shopping around for design agencies. According to DaPlan, big design firms have wider skill sets that extend beyond just design and have larger teams of designers and more resources. On the other hand, small agencies and freelancers might offer a more personalized approach to your project and lower costs but offer a variety of talent.
If you have a smaller budget and a larger design agency is on your list of dream designers, you can absolutely reach out for pricing information or view pricing info on their website if they provide it.
3. View the Design Agency Portfolio
Always look at past work from an agency before you move forward! Small agencies and agencies, in general, can offer a variety of talent and experience in a specific design area. If you are hoping for a very colourful web design but hire an agency without looking at their past work, you might find that they do not work very well with colour. As our third tip, you should absolutely view the design agency’s portfolio before you reach out.
Ask yourself these questions when you view a portfolio:
Do I like the work that is seen here?
Is there something similar to my idea displayed here?
Do I like the style of these websites?
Is there a variety of colours, styles, and fonts used?
Do these websites make me want to keep exploring?
Can I see my branding displayed by this skill set?
Am I impressed by the work that I see here?
These questions serve as a great guiding point to continue in your search for a design agency. If at any point, you feel like the materials displayed in the portfolio aren’t going to serve your brand or business, you should pass. Many design agencies are available to hire, the market is full of options, and the perfect agency is out there for you. So, do you like what you see? Are you interested in their designs? If so, you should add them to your list! If you see a particular example that jumps out to you as something similar to what you have in mind, make a note of it for when you communicate with this agency.
4. Consider Client Testimonials
The next valuable piece of information that a creative design agency should give you is client testimonials. Former clients that are willing to provide feedback to their design agencies are excellent for deciding if you should pursue hiring a certain design agency.
Two great benefits can be found from these testimonials: positive feedback and a peek at the website. Sometimes, these websites may not be listed on a designer’s portfolio, so you can consider these websites extra looks at the design agency’s skillset. As well, feedback is important. If you value patience with requests, look for that in testimonials. On the other hand, if you are looking for a speedy turnaround, look for that in testimonials.
Be aware that client testimonials are hand-picked by agencies to appear on their websites. If you want to see reviews of their services that are not hand-selected, you should seek out reviews of the design agency. It can be difficult to find Google reviews for some smaller agencies, though, so keep this in mind.
If everything checks out with client testimonials and based on the feedback, you think this agency will be a good match for you, it’s time to continue with finding a design agency.
5. Start Making Contact with Design Agencies
Think of design agencies as prospective employees. While you might want to hire a specific design agency, the design agencies want you as their client. That’s how they make money! Even though you may desperately need a project worked on, they need you more than you need them. So, put yourself into the role of hiring an employee.
This is not to say that you should act like you are superior to your prospective agency – you will be a team – but you should take the lead and ask questions. You should request quotes, interview designers, and talk with design teams. Very rarely should you choose the first ui design agency you have the chance to interact with because you should explore your options. So, make a list of possible agencies that you might want to work with and start contacting them through their communication methods, whether it be an online form, an email, or a phone call.
When you make contact, ask designers about their experience, their style, and their skillset. These questions should align with the goal you established when you first sought an agency. If you want special colour, ask about their colour experience. If you wish to have a minimalistic design, ask about their experience with minimalism. If you just want a pretty website, make your intentions clear!
At UI Rocket, you can also just request a free prototype to see how your project could turn out at zero risk!
Based on your contact with a firm, you should have sufficient information to narrow down your list of agencies. After communicating with all the agencies on your list, you should be ready to hire someone for your project!
Hiring a designer is important for the visibility of your brand. Just as you should expect a designer to treat your project with care and attention, you should put the same amount of effort into finding an agency.
All in all, choosing a ui/ux design agency can be difficult, but the process of choosing an agency is extremely rewarding. When the right design agency works with your project, you will avoid headaches, mistakes, and other negative aspects of a partnership.
We hope that you learned a lot about hiring a design firm for your upcoming project, but we’re here if you have any additional questions. As a design firm, UI Rocket is happy to provide education about the world of design in combination with our services as a team of designers! We’re just that passionate about web design.
Do you have questions about hiring a design agency for your next project? At UI Rocket, we would be happy to help you by providing our expertise in the realm of design agencies. Contact us about your project’s needs here.