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How to choose the best web design agency: 3 valuable tips
Reading time 5 min | Apr 06, 2021
Hiring an external design team is reasonable. Once you choose to outsource the design service, you get access to a vast talent pool, deep expertise, and focus on your specific domain. But how to choose a web design agency among numerous teams and freelancers?
As a web design agency ourselves, we know the inner workings. That's why we wrote this blog post with three valuable tips to help you choose the best web design agency. Read on!
#1. Search on reliable platforms
Ideally, your search starts with professional platforms for UI/UX designers, motion artists, illustrators, and more. On these platforms, freelance designers and teams showcase their works with a design community and potential clients. Design platforms like Behance and Dribbble are a great chance to better look at designer's aesthetics, quality of work, and the domain they operate in.
There are other platforms where you can find a wide range of IT professionals: from web designers and software developers to marketers and copywriters. Below, we'll review some of the most prominent platforms in detail.
Even though Behance was created as a professional network for photographers and illustrators in 2005, later it transformed into a large design and illustration platform.
To find the best talents for your project, you can use filters to look for a specific domain (like user interface design or motion design) and geolocation. If you like the design's aesthetics, you can search for similar content and discover even more creative professionals.
Behance is one of the largest creative networks that allows you to look for people and teams in a wide range of domains. On Behance, you can make up your database of artists whose works you admire the most, create mood boards, and get in touch with authors.
Dribbble is considered a vanity fair in a designers community. Dribbble was conceived as a platform for creative professionals' self-promotion, and it handles this role well. On this platform, designers, illustrators and photographers showcase pieces of their works – dribbble shots – to demonstrate their skills and creative ideas and ask for likes, of course.
On Dribbble, you can hire full-time designers, freelancers, and the whole agencies by filtering their work experience, location, salary range, even companies they used to work for.
Dribbble is not only a platform that allows you to find talents by multiple filters, but it's also a great source of inspiration and current trends.
Toptal is a platform with vetted freelancers and agencies in software development, UI/UX design, product and project management, and even financial consulting. Toptal has a strict 5-stage interviewing process of talents. As a result, nearly 3% of freelancers get a chance to sign up on a platform.
Even though Toptal isn't a design-specific platform, it gathers the cream of the crop in IT talent. You have to pay for the quality though: the hourly rates on TopTal range from $60 to $250.
#2. Check the reviews
Reviews speak louder than marketing messages on websites and social media. Of course, only the non-biased reviews from real customers make sense. Let's see how you can find the actual proofs of work and trustworthy reviews about the design team:
Case studies and portfolio. When checking the case studies and portfolio of previous works, pay attention to details like the project's length, design objectives, and outcome. These details illustrate a team's working pace and success rate. Pro tip: it's common to not disclose the client's name due to NDA agreements. In this case, you might ask a design team specific questions that interest you to elicit as much information as possible.
Review platforms. Platforms like Clutch meticulously collect feedback from clients to post only verified reviews. For example, Clutch conducts phone interviews to get honest feedback and ensure credible answers.
Social media reviews. Comments on Google My Business, Facebook, LinkedIn, Upwork, and other social media reveal the truth as well. Watch out for fake reviews, though. You might want to do extra work and check the reviewer's profiles or even reach out to them for details.
Recognitions and awards.
#3. Analyze their management style
Management style, communication, and presentation skills talk better than words. In particular, pay your attention to these things:
How quickly does the team get back to you after your request? Do they "disappear" from time to time or keep the conversation going consistently? Such small details will help you evaluate the prioritization and time management skills of the design team.
A proactive approach is a competitive advantage of a strong web design team. Such a team will ask the right questions and take the lead. In discussions of complicated design decisions, they won't act as yes-men.
This one is similar to a previous point. When evaluating the web design team's management style, ask if the team follows Agile methodologies or other project management methods. Other significant points include team management skills, usage of tools to streamline routine work, transparency of working processes, artifacts at each design stage, etc.
In addition to soft skills, pay attention to the design expertise and approach. Check if the team uses the design best practices, follows guidelines, and keeps up with the latest design trends.
The old proverb says: the devil is in the details. When selecting the web design agency for your project, follow this rule and assess the team from all sides. Factors like hard skills (design approach, quality of previous works, overall aesthetics), soft skills (management style, communication, proactiveness), and the track record will help you choose the best web design agency.
P.S. If you followed our checklist and liked our team, don't hesitate to contact us. We'll get back to you promptly.
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