Finding a good design company that actually cares about your business in this saturated market is like finding a needle in a haystack. Where do you look for them and what criteria do you use to qualify the ones you find?
It’s a tricky process, but today I want to offer you a few tips that will make your search for the right design company much more successful.
Hire a company with a great web presence. It shows that they care about their own business by making it easy for you to find them. If you’re not impressed by the quality and craftsmanship of their website, you shouldn’t expect to be impressed by the one they design for you.
Their website is not only the face of their business but it literally represents what they’re capable of designing and building. You wouldn’t want to hire a web design company that doesn’t have a stellar website (or didn’t build it themselves) no matter how qualified they seem!
I think the same is true for style. While many web design experts can adapt and design in many styles, their website generally indicates their strengths and preferences. For example, if their design style appears big, bold, loud, and modern, they’d be a better fit to redesign a sports website rather than a corporate marketing website.
The best design companies should have testimonials from past clients prominently displayed. This is key to getting repeat work for them (and they know it), so it is in their best interest to get testimonials from clients. If these aren’t displayed publicly, feel free to ask for them.
A company without any strong testimonials from past clients may not have a good reputation or enough experience, making them a less desirable candidate for your project.
You should also consider how long they’ve been in business, how big their team is, and the structure of their company. This will provide valuable insights that will help you determine whether they are the right fit for your project.
Work Samples / Case Studies
A design companies portfolio of work is what will make you want to contact them the most, but pay attention to how their work is being displayed. Is it just a bunch of finished projects? Did they describe what their role was on the project? Did they show any process work on how they arrived at the solution?
The best companies should have case studies or descriptions that talk about the project in detail to help prospective clients like you want to hire them.
When you contact to them, how long does it take them to respond? How appropriately do they respond? Do they ask questions about your business or your goals for the project? A good design company should always respond in a timely and professional manner.
How they communicate early on will be indicative of how they communicate throughout the rest of the project, how likely they are to meet deadlines, and how effectively they can solve your specific business problem.
You can gather valuable insights about the way communication will be handled over the phone and in person by the way they write on their website.
Education & Personal Projects
One of the best ways to qualify a company is to see if they’re making an effort to educate their clients or working on any internal projects. This could be their own website, but any other internal projects (such as a blog) are indicative of a team that is highly motivated.
Does it feel like their website is trying to sell something to you or are they also making an effort to educate their potential clients through a blog, newsletter, whitepaper, etc?
If they have a good web presence, communicate well, have excellent work, but ALSO write helpful blog posts on the side, you can bet that team will work hard on your project.
I hope you found some of these tips helpful and that you are well on your way to finding the right design company!