I got this good article from one of the mailing lists I subscribed. It’s a really good read, and no offenses are intended. So, here goes:

Ever heard of the gazillions of sob stories of how clients paid money for a designer only to get screwed over and fail to receive the dream site they always wanted? We sure have. We believe that the complaints that many clients have can be attributed to these top 5 top signs. These should act as a red flag that you may lose money on your website. Whether you choose to hire Sachi or another design team, it is our goal to make sure there is one less angry customer out there on the World Wide Wow. Consider yourself warned.

Sign #1:
During the design process, you keep making one request after another for a change in the design.

Solution: Don’t micromanage the design process. Client feedback is great. Designers love feedback. But don’t keep fiddling over the design and asking the designer to make one change after another. You don’t pay your lawyer and micromanage his decision making do you? Once you offer feedback to the designer, let it go and let them finish the project without further interruption.

Sign #2:
The first words out of your mouth when you talk to a designer are, “How much do you cost?”

Solution: While budgetary issues can play a factor in hiring a designer, the real question you should be asking is, “What qualifications do you have and how do you envision building a site for me and my company?” Low end designers will always just give you a low price because they don’t know of any other way to add value to your business. But great top notch designers know to avoid answering that question initially. Instead they focus on what ways they can increase your ROI and help you make money. The best way for them to add value and give a concrete price quote is to fill out a web design worksheets like this.

Sign #3:
You keep focusing on what the pretty graphics should look like but haven’t mapped out what the marketing strategy of the site should be.

Solution: You will always know which designers are worth their pay because they show an interests in helping you to map out an appropriate business strategy that will make you money. You do want to make money from the site, don’t you? They will ask questions that will help you clarify your own business goals in an aim to determine how they can best add value to your business. Can they increase your search rankings? Can they add functionality to the site that will increase conversion rates?

Sign #4:
You are sloooow to offer feedback during the design phase.

Solution: Don’t think that you have all week to respond to the designer’s request for feedback. This slows the process down. The designer has to wait longer than expected to get paid. Scope creep starts to settle in. They have other projects to take care of and if they sense that you are not living up to your end of the bargain, they will put you further down the priority list because at that point, they have nothing to lose since they know you are not putting your own website on the top of the to-do list. This can result in weeks and months of delays with no end in sight.

Sign #5:
When asked to fill out the web design worksheet and be comprehensive in your answers, you, answer the questions with one sentence answers.

Solution: In order for designers to draft a proper website proposal and eventually design a great site, they rely heavily on extensive feedback. Little feedback and insight means little success. Lots of feedback and insight means lots of success. Take an extra 20 minutes or an hour to answer the worksheet in a thoughtful manner. On many occasions, a client will be disappointed at the site design but they fail to realize that they contributed as much to the process as the designer may have.

An article from Sachi Studios.