Business Tips: How to Find the Perfect Web Designer for Your Business

The foundation of your business is more or less set, and now you need a web designer to take it to another level and to deliver your product in a different manner. The question is who can help you achieve that goal. It is important that you hire a superstar because your website is going to give a first impression of your business to potential customers. Here are some quick tips and pointers to help guide you through your search for that ideal web designer.
  1. Web designers who charges a cheap fee for a design ARE NOT better. 
You will get exactly what you pay for. A designer who charges $9.00/hour are charging you that rate either because they believe the quality of their work equates to that rate (which is borderline awful), or they do not treat their work seriously enough because it is just hobby to them. This also means you should avoid hiring through a freelancing platform or design contests. Hiring a cheap designer could result in having a site that has a hard time converting or even functioning.
  1. Understand the pros and cons in hiring both agencies and an individual. 
Business owners are conflicted with whether or not they want to deal with an agency or hiring a single person to handle their website. Both are great, but each have their own advantages. Hiring an individual designer is cheaper than hiring an agency, and woking with an individual makes it easier to get close and personal with the project and can have a large influence. On the other hand, although hiring an agency is pricier and harder to interact with the team in regards to the project, your site will more than likely be more innovative and structured. Find out which work style is better and how much involvement you want to have with your designer(s).
  1. Find a designer whose work makes you believe they can get the job done. 
Do not hire a web designer just because they have a web designer title. When hunting for a designer, browse through their portfolio. Find some pieces of work that impresses you and gives you evidence that they are suited for the job. Not only will this make your site development easier but you get bonus points from the designer for taking the time to do just that.
  1. Make sure that the designer’s core values in web design are congruent with the degree of the problem you are facing. 
A (great) designer has a set of values they follow throughout their career. Whether they are making sure that your site stands out in your industry, or reinventing the web in regards to your industry, you need to ensure that the way they go about delivering your site makes sense with your problem and the mission of your company.
  1. Ensure that the designer has the skills you need to solve your problem. 
It is imperative that you have the people who have the skills to design and/or develop your site. Skills include HTML, CSS, and Javascript. If a designer does not have the skills you need, it does not necessarily mean that they should not be hired. You can always hire someone else who is an expert at the missing skills to collaborate which always seem to work best.

Designer Tips: Why Designing Within Heavy Limits Can Be a Great Thing. 

I am always told that a designer’s typical monstrous nightmare involves being held by heavy corporate limitations. It can be extremely difficult to get your creativity motor going when your boundaries are holding you back. However, limitations will not only help you create your best work ever, but will also help sharpen your skills as a designer. Here are a few reasons why limits can be a good thing:
  1. You Will Find Things You Will Otherwise Not Find 
No boundaries are always fun, but it seems to never force you to look in the corners. This will allow you to have an easier time finding inspiration. Unlike other projects, you will be up close with the project allowing you to learn more about the project than you intended, and can easily relate to the project, which will ultimately enhance your role in the project.
  1. More Limits = More Pressure, More Pressure = Creativity
I do not think I need to elaborate on this. It has been proven that the more constraints a worker has, the better the work will be.
  1. Your Skills Will Soar
Your goal as a designer is to solve a problem. Problems are always created under certain conditions. You job is to work around those conditions by any means necessary. There is a mighty chance that you will force yourself into learning new skills to demolish that problem. Those skills will make your life easier in future projects mainly because those walls that kept you in that box made you better.
  1. You Will Begin to Appreciate The Little Things
You will begin to realize that those little things that you sometimes kick to the side while you are working, whether they are tools or color palettes, are a big deal. It will make you more aware of your workflow and resources. It will also help you relearn some of the basics that you may have forgotten about design, because those bolder skills that you have learned over the years have been your primary focus.
  1. You May Find a Good Reason to Rebuild Those Limitations
You have tried everything only to finally find out that there is something legitimately wrong with the company’s brand. Maybe you have identified the main reason for the problem’s existence that constantly gets overlooked. You will begin to find solutions that may not exist inside the box, but outside. As long as you can confidently confirm that, you will have a good reason to reinvent that wheel to create something great.

Designer Tips: Is It Okay to Increase Your Rates?



You have upgraded your iMac, purchased new tools for your business increasing your monthly bills, and you even decided to rent an office space to work more efficiently. Now, your costs are higher than ever. What do you do?

You are not going to have any other choice but to increase your rates as a freelancer. Designers tend to stress out about this because they do not know by how much they should increase and they also fear that this may cause a conflict with any existing clients who have grown to your hourly rate.

You have to first understand that this is a normal process for any freelancer. If people are okay with Netflix continuing to hike up prices because of their extensions of original series and perks, why should they be upset with you doing the same? People should be paid based on their value in the market, and you needing to upgrade your programs, tools, and office is indeed making you a much faster and productive designer, thus making you more valuable.

Assuming that you are aware of your finances in terms of your freelance business, you should carefully adjust your hourly rates accordingly. Whether you are increasing it by just $10 or $50, make sure you are doing it to cover your new set of costs and nothing more unless you are absolutely confident in yourself to add those extra dollars.

As for your repeating clients, the most important thing to do is let them know. Educate them, and tell them that you are increasing your rates to better serve them and others. You also do not want to surprise them with large numbers on that invoice. Importantly, make sure you tell them way in advance or even give them a discount to allow them to slowly transition into your new system.

Designer Tips: Pretty Pictures Does Not Mean Sh*t

Earlier this week, I had a thought in my head regarding graphic designers who love placing the following text in the header of their portfolio site: “Hello, my name is John and I make pretty things.” Scroll down and you see images that are heartwarming yet empty. Images that have no process, thought, or purpose.

Designers are supposed to create a product that is aesthetically pleasing, but it does not mean you are limited to just that. I know dozens upon dozens of designers who hop on to Photoshop shortly after receiving the brief, which is fine as long as you are not already creating the final product.

 As a designer, you must find a process and stick to it. It does not matter what your process is as long say you have research, plan, and sketching as steps within your process. You would be better off spending 95% of the project time researching than spending that same amount of time making a pretty picture that does not mean anything to your client in the end.

Also, clients may end up wanting to make revisions to your ideas because it does not look appealing. Unless, the client has any other reason for changing up your concept, educate them as to why your idea works.

A problem that designers face today, is that people who aren’t designers look at our jobs as nothing but artists and should therefore not get paid at all.

Pretty icing on a cake will never solve problems. If the cake is bland, so is the experience.