The golden rule in any tender process is: information plus communication. For clients, this is crucial to selecting the best agency for the job. For designers it helps to ensure the most accurate quote. Even if you’re about to start a project, following this principle could mean the difference between smooth, successful delivery and a headache for client and designer alike.
Given the right information, a web design agency can determine exactly what’s required. Naturally, things may change during a website design project, but the more info given, the more likely an accurate fixed quote can be provided.
Similarly, good communication ensures that both parties understand what the goals are. For example, if you’re a client looking for video capability or a forum, make sure the web design agency knows this. It might take more work than you think.
For clients and designers it helps to have a checklist:
A bullet list of required web pages (from home to every product page)
A design brief. Is a new logo required? Do any style templates exist already? Is there a specific requirement for colours/logo/navigation?
How concrete are the ideas/pages? Does the client expect to change the pages required during the project? Are they looking for additional consultancy?
How do the client’s requirements fit with a designer’s current portfolio is there some crossover? Does the client like any particular style? Can the client provide a series of links to sites they like?
Is the domain name already registered? If not, whose responsibility is it, and who is responsible for hosting?
Does the domain need transferred?
Functions, format and content
Who will source the images? A mistake that many clients make is assuming that web designers will always supply images for the site.
What about text and other content?
If the client needs blogs, video functionality, a secure database, a shopping cart or any other special feature, this needs to be noted.
Is any advanced SEO needed? Such as link exchange, content generation etc.
Timeline and changes to plan:
– Work out a series of key delivery dates for draft design ideas, beta website and launch.
– Similarly, the client should provide dates for providing content, confirming designs etc.
– To avoid any bad feelings (or worse) further down the line, it should be made clear what the costs are (whether by hourly rate or similar) for amendments and changes to the brief.
Does the client need frequent updates?
If so, does the client need training in how to operate the host account/CMS?
What about regular SEO reviews (such as adword campaign monitoring) and website analytics?
Who’s responsible for security updates or updates to the hosting software etc.
A few extra details:
If you’re a client, it’s worth remembering a few additional points:
All browsers display sites differently. There is no site on the web that displays the same in all browsers.
Designs look different on screen than they do on printed paper.
Every site should be accessible this is not only important from a usability and navigation point of view, but it’s a legal requirement to ensure that your site can be used by people with disabilities such as visual impairment.
This list is by no means final, and different sites require different approaches. However, after hundreds of tenders and successful project deliveries over the last fifteen years, OBS-Group has learned that following these steps can result in a far more accurate quote, not to mention a better website in the long run.