Not all bloggers are geek, but all blog designers are, and geeks are kinda like artists. We’re usually a little weird crazy slightly introvert different. Communication isn’t always our forte and mind reading? well let’s just say the internet doesn’t help us decipher voice inflections or facial expressions. Just because we’re good at what we do, doesn’t mean our tastes match yours, or that we have some magic way of knowing what you want or need.
So, how to you communicate with the complicated individual who is your blog designer?
> Make an Impression
Finding the right web designer and getting good results is like finding a date online. If you want to meet the right person you need to provide enough information for your designer to know who you are. We need this for you as a person, and for your business or niche. If we understand your personal likes and dislikes we’ll have a good idea of where to start. Are you a minimalist? Do you like light colors or dark, florals or solids, classic or web 2.0? If you can tell us your target market, we can more easily gauge how your site needs to function.
> Provide Examples
Before you even start the process of hiring a designer, make a list of sites you like and why you like them. This is very important. Do you like the header, the sidebar, the layout? Or is it just the color or the way the blockquotes are styled? With each example you bring to the table be prepared to point out your likes and dislikes.
> Be Specific
This may sound redundant, but trust me, the biggest pet peeve of many designers is finding out after the fact that you want a lot more features, or need more hand holding than originally communicated. This not only changes the timeline of the project, but also adds to the work load and if a price has already been quoted you’ll either be racking up extra fees, or if your designer is too sweet to add them, taking advantage of your designer.
It really is ok if you don’t know the terms. If you can point to a feature on another site and say “I want that,” we’ll understand. If you’re geeky enough to name the plugin you need to achieve this feature you might not need a designer you’ll get a virtual high-5. 🙂 The point is, don’t be shy when it comes to explaining what you’d like to have. The more we know before we start, the better!
> Show Your Dedication to the Project
If your designer said it would take three weeks to complete your project know that this timeline depends highly on your cooperation. If you take three days to respond to an email your designer has sent you, that’s three days the designer may have been waiting around, unable to continue in an area. These kinds of stalls lead to unmet deadlines for both of you. This is especially hard on the designer because he probably already has someone scheduled after you. So, whether or not you care if it takes 5 weeks instead of 3, be considerate and try to help the process along. At the same time be aware that your project may not be the only one currently on your designer’s plate. Calling or expecting an answer any time of day is not acceptable. We try very hard to make every client feel like they’re the only one, but the truth is, we’ve got a lot of people to keep happy. 🙂
> Have Fun
Just because we’re different doesn’t mean we’re stand-offish. Some of my very best online (and real life!) friendships have started as a blogger-designer relationship! I absolutely love it when a client isn’t shy! A little small talk, humor, and interest in one another is a good thing.