Nowadays, almost anyone could use a website, which means nearly everyone could use a website graphic designer. However, hiring any type of help is challenging, and design help is even more so. In addition to finding someone that is capable of creating the kind of designs that you are looking for, you also have to find someone that will deliver that quality of work within your time and cost budget.
It’s challenging, but not impossible. This article will help you hire the best website graphic designer for your needs.
Is it time to hire a website graphic designer?
Before we discuss the methods of hiring your perfect designer, we must first ask the important question. Are you ready to hire a website graphic designer? If you are asking yourself this question, you probably are. A website graphic designer is necessary for those that are planning their first website, as well as those that already have an established visual brand. A website graphic designer creates attractive websites that serve as a critical link between the brand and the user, a service that is necessary for any type of business.
Unfortunately, many people skimp out on hiring a website designer when they really shouldn’t. There are many reasons for this. They may have lacked the budget to devote to their brand and decided to create something themselves. They may have also created something to take up space until the ‘real website’ could be finished. Regardless of the reason, it’s now time to upgrade their brand, and that means hiring a website graphic designer.
Define the Job
The first step to hiring the perfect help is clearly defining the type of help that you need. We’re not talking about the qualities of the designer, either. Instead, you should be focusing on the job. What needs to be done should be clearly defined so that it can be explained to a potential candidate. The easiest way to do this is to separate the job description into three main categories: branding, users, and budget.
Ultimately, your website graphic designer will be using design to communicate your brand to the world. Make the process easier for them by thoroughly understanding your brand before you ask someone else to interpret and explain it.
Your website communicates your brand with the world, but chances are, you are most interested in a specific group of users. Increase your chances of hiring your perfect designer by clearly defining who they will be creating for.
Defining the job also includes knowing how much money you intend to spend. In addition to knowing how much you can spend, it’s a good idea to know how much design services cost. Put in the required effort to compare prices to see how much you should spend before talking to candidates.
Graphic Designers Come in Many Types
If you’ve ever hired a graphic designer before, you probably quickly discovered how many options there were. Graphic designers can work on both offline and online projects, they can be part of your staff, or they can stay strictly freelance. Understanding the type of designer that you will need is essential to finding the perfect fit.
Online vs. Offline Design
An offline graphic designer focuses on visual design that you’d find outside of the internet. They may have advertising experience and create billboards, or they may focus more on marketing and branding and create logo designs. The variability in skillset is large across graphic designers who work offline, so it is important to choose one with the experience you seek.
Those that specialize in online projects typically work as website graphic designers, but not always. Online graphic designers may also work in social media design, advertising or logo design. Therefore, if you are looking for someone to redesign your website, you’ll want to make sure they work with website design specifically.
Freelance vs. Employee
When hiring a website graphic designer, you will also need to decide whether or not you want to hire a regular employee or maintain them for project-based assignments. There are benefits to both options.
As an employee, your graphic designer has a better chance of getting to know your brand and users. They will be more available for your projects, and you have the most control over how the project is completed. However, for many, an experienced freelancer is just as valuable. Talented freelancers can quickly learn what they need to know about a brand and deliver a completed project at a lower price than an employee.
Interview Potential Candidates
Once you decide the type website graphic designer you’d like to use, you’ll need to start the interview process. Many people make the mistake of thinking they don’t need to interview potential designers. While you can get an idea of their work by looking at samples, it isn’t enough to gauge whether they will be a good fit for your project. Designers should be interviewed, regardless of if they are freelance or a potential employee. You want someone that will understand your brand, and work well with you and your team.
Here are a few sample questions for your candidates:
- Give an example of how you work with other collaborators, such as copywriters, developers and project managers.
- Talk about a time when you received criticism of your work, and how you dealt with it.
- What are some of your favorite brands, from a design perspective, and why?
- How do you create a design when given little to no guidance from the client?
- Which samples in your portfolio are you most proud of?
Don’t Downplay UX Design
Nowadays, there are many options in graphic design, making the task of finding the perfect graphic designer a bit challenging. However, for a website graphic designer, it’s a good idea to choose someone with an understanding of UX design.
UX website design is a type of design that focuses on the usability of a website as much as it does the aesthetics. For websites with a lot of information to share or those that focus highly on customer interaction, UX design provides a tool for ensuring the needs of the users are not overlooked.
Not every website designer practices UX design, but most recognize that it is a sought-after skill. Therefore, you probably won’t have too difficult of a time finding someone that claims to have UX design expertise.
There’s a better way to determine the suitability of a potential candidate. Instead of asking if they have UX skills, ask if they use the tools that UX designers use. We created a list of UX design tools for a website graphic designer, chances are, if they use them as well, they likely have some experience with UX.
Start Small and Test
One of the best ways to hire your perfect website graphic designer is to try out a few first. Especially if you have a few projects to work on, starting small gives you a chance to check out your designer’s work before beginning larger projects. Test projects also offer a low-commitment way for designers to get to know your brand, making it more likely that they will create something you love.
Popular test projects for website graphic designers include social media pages, landing pages, and logos. These small projects make it easy to see how a designer works, while also giving both parties a chance to test each other out.
It’s More Than Work Samples
A great designer does more than create amazing graphics. Talented designers can interpret the information given to them and form them into something visual that your target user can understand. That’s why it is important to get to know your potential designer outside of their work samples.
Find out how they like to work. Ask them what information they will need from you. Find out what motivates their design work. In the end, getting to know your designer Is extremely helpful toward receiving the designs you want because it makes collaboration easier. The best designer is worthless if they can’t create what you have in mind.
Experience Versus Passion
If you know what you want, it can be easy to hire a website graphic designer that fits your needs, but that doesn’t always mean you need to hire the most experienced designer to do so. What many designers lack in experience, they may make up for in passion. Especially when considering freelancers, look for designers with a mixture of experience and passion. They may have a specific interest in your brand that translates to a little extra love put into the design work.
Maintaining a mixture of both is vital to finding the perfect candidate. While experience matters, it’s also something that increases over time, whereas passion about a specific topic may never change. A passionate website graphic designer is likely to increase their skills for the sake of their passion, whereas someone who is very experienced is more likely to keep doing things the ways they’ve done it for years. Depending on how much you love your potential designer, this can either be a good thing or a bad thing.
Written By Jenn Marie
Jenn Marie is a freelance copy writer and internet marketing strategist based out of the Seattle area. A true tech evangelist, Jenn previously helped individuals utilize the full potential of Dell, Microsoft and Amazon products. She now focuses on building authentic online presences for small businesses and entrepreneurs through her company, Jenn Marie Writing & Marketing. Find her on LinkedIn