Obviously, good web designers have project work that visually speaks to you while it simultaneously is pleasing to the eye. Kind of like buying your first house or meeting the love of your life – you just know.
If you’ve done your initial home work on a prospective designer, you’ve discovered there is a good personality match and their references check out. I suppose then this article might best be titled “traits a top-shelf designer”.
Good web designers are relatively abundant, but top-shelf designers are, in large, those that have years of experience behind them – having gone through bad projects or worked with a variety of project managers to ultimately know these following traits make a relationship and project work smooth. If you’re new to or considering a design career, I’m hopeful these will get you a leg up.
- Asks questions
- Thinks “What if?”
- Delivers on-time
Start by asking questions
A good project manager should be the provider of the base of information to get a project done. A top-shelf designer asks any questions they have at the time of reviewing objectives, digests the information (post-meeting), and follows up with a re-statement of the information.
It may seem silly, but the step of re-stating the objectives offers an opportunity to expose any missing details that should have been provided initially, allows an opportunity to ask any more questions for further clarification, and reassures the project manager that their designer has no mis-interpretations.
Constantly think “What if?”
This trait is one that is meant to be engrained in every facet of project work and becomes the catalyst for the questions asked at a project’s on-set.
Constantly thinking “what if?” is especially significant when it comes to complete re-branding projects or those that include a website component to them. The re-branding flavor of project can run in a multitude of directions like current and future logo uses, the different channels of marketing chosen (on or off-line), etc. Any seasoned designer could share that knowing and making sure designs are produced at high resolution (or physical dimension) initially can save you from re-doing or adding hours of work resulting in missing a deadline.
When purely in the web space, factors like on-page interactivity, functional contingency (when s*%# happens), intended devices (responsive design), etc. have deep importance on how a design should be executed and/or what should be considered a complete set of deliverables.
Finish on time (or before)
With objectives covered at the on-set of the project and carefully thought out “what if?”s, this very critical point becomes simple to consistently accomplish – and a joyous occasion between you and your project manager – at any stage where a deliverable is due. Nothing says “hire me (again – for the freelancers among us)” louder than being a dependable part of the team.
I would typically say “save the war stories” for internal conversations, but since this article is meant to expose the hiccups that cause points of failure in a designers project work, share with us your worst experience. If you’d rather, hit me up privately and allow us to expand this article.
What are traits you look for in good web designers?