Top 5 Questions to Ask a Potential Web Designer

Getting started with a new web property or website development project can be an exciting time for your firm. Among the many options that are often considered when it comes to an actual hire for a project or position, are outsourcing the project to a firm, outsourcing pieces underneath a primary web designer, or utilizing in-house talent and bringing a web designer in to coordinate the work.

Talented designers need to be good at understanding how technology meets design. They also need to be able to provide key input into your marketing strategy for the project.

Here are some of the top questions that you should consider asking of designers applying to work on your project:

1. What mobile technologies would you choose to focus our resources on and why?
Most designers are sophisticated at consulting and will give you some solid approaches to implementing the mobile portion of your development. Listen carefully. If you are staying on top of technology, you'll have a solid grasp of how prescient their ideas actually are.

2. Given that we want to promote our ideas vertically via third parties, what and how would you suggest we integrate the most relevant sites into our offerings?
In the fast-paced world of design, preparing a company to integrate updates to their web properties via third party sites such as Facebook and Twitter is fairly straightforward. Developing an interface on each site that you choose to utilize to store the information can be time consuming, however. Knowing when and how much to promote third-party integration depending on the nature of the project, is one measure of a competent web designer.

3. How much importance do you place on website functionality testing as a part of your design work?
Depending on the company, some firms have a two-tiered approach to development. One set of standards exists for their website development, and one set exists for their application development. Its almost always the case that website testing has to fight for equal visibility among business managers. Knowing the attitude of the designer in advance can tell you a lot about the quality of the work they intend to produce.

4. How comfortable are you with designing for standards such as Section 508?
If your company has government contracts in the United States or chooses to sell to government customers, the sites you create will need to be Section 508 compliant. A solid designer should be able to relate their experience in satisfying that type of requirement.

5. Why would I use a web services approach over a standardized site development model?
This question goes to understanding how your designer thinks as an architect. If they will be in charge of a project, being able to articulate design choices will be an important skill.

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