Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Who's Designing Your Website?

I just read this blog, http://www.thevideosense.net/2008/
, and I must say there are a few points I do not agree with. However, I do agree on the contract and downpayment part of this post. If someone is serious about working with you and your business image, they should sign a contract with you but you must be willing to front some part of the cost. This lets both sides know each is serious and dedicated to the project's end result.

As a client, you should ask for references from anyone you are hiring. Yes, hiring. Remember, when you ask for quotes for someone to design/redesign your website or make a business card, you are making a contract to hire that person for that project. This is no different than a company hiring an employee - only a different venue. So yes, ask for samples - linking sample files, websites done, even a tearsheet of sample work - will separate the professional from the non-professional, regardless if a freelancer or corporate designer.

Also, don't be afraid to ask about their experience and education in this field. This will help weed out those who just purchased Microsoft Publisher and want to be a graphic/website designer from those with actual training with typography, color and composition. If they tell you they are just starting to build a business, that's not necessarily a red flag to avoid this person; perhaps they are a recent graduate from a design school and need real-life experience to build their business. We all had to start somewhere, and from these experiences we establish a trusting work relationship that you can count on again and again.

Take care: without asking a lot of questions and getting a signed contract, you could be in for a "surprise".

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