Having been in the industry for 8 years now, I have seen potential clients come and go, and hopefully this blog post will give some insight into a design studio's thinking, as well as helping customers choose the right design studio for them.
I am seeing more and more individuals setting up eCommerce websites to take a gamble on being their own boss. So if that's the case, they probably haven't ever setup a website before in the past - so will have a lot of questions about what is what.
Design is sometimes about opinion and we can't guess what you are thinking. So the first thing to do for the design studio is write a short brief of what you want to achieve in this process. We normally ask for 3 web references also. These can be based on the content, colour scheme, functionality, anything that you like and think will be similar to want you need in your project. From these references, we can get a good idea of your targets, then we can offer our professional advice and reference other websites you may have not seen before.
Clients want a quick response from a design studio to get answers, decisions and movement. This same theory also applies to the studio. If a clients response to emails and communication is slow, it will slow the process down. If we say it will take 6 weeks to complete an eCommerce project but it takes a client 2 weeks to reply to an email we needed a response too, then the deadline has to be extended, it isn't our fault communication stalled.
Set a budget in mind that you're willing to spend. Even if you don't know how much websites normally cost. This gives yourself and the design studio a target. If the budget is too low, we will offer our professional advice with some other options or recommend another design agency who could work to your budget. If your budget is higher than anticipated, we will quote for the specification you need, but then also offer some extra features that you may not have thought about. For example, instead of having a standard website, we could make it into a fully responsive website that is compatible on all the latest devices and is future proofed.
We pay our people on time, and so should clients. It's annoying to have to chase payments. Treat as you'd like to be treated. For example, if you don't make payment on time, when it comes to asking the design studio to do something immediately - it may not happen : )
When hiring a design studio, make sure you are 100% confident in their ability to do the job. Whether it's design or development, look at their portfolio examples, talk to them, get a feel for their personality and if you're happy, trust them to do the job.
To all you new entrepreneurs out there, take a gamble on something you are passionate about. It is very rewarding to start something from scratch and put the effort in to make it successful.
Here at Shape, we like to think our approach to web design is different to others. We love what we do and I think that shows. We put 100% into every project we start and try to make everything we produce award winning. Our eCommerce web design and development projects in particular are different from the norm. We like to make all our websites an enjoyment to use. I personally think that not only do our websites look good, they are functional and more importantly - different to competitors, adding personality into every brand and by letting that ethos of the company shows through, makes them stand out from the crowd.
If you have enquiries about new project, feel free to get in touch: