Design

20 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Web Design Agency

So you’ve decided to overhaul your website and hire a UX design agency. While switching your outdated website with one that is dynamic and easy-to-use is the right decision, there are a few things you must keep in mind when hiring a digital agency to transform your UX.

When interviewing a designer or web design agency for the position, be sure to ask the following 20 questions:

1. Can I review your portfolio?

Every agency that you interview should have an extensive portfolio for you to review. Their portfolio should feature past client work, in addition to examples of the exact type of project you are asking them to do for you.

2. Can I speak with your references?

Any design agency should be able to provide references or past clients that can talk to you about their experience with the agency.

3. Do you have any case studies?

In addition to finding an agency that can build an incredible website, you need to review their case studies to ensure the statistics can backup the designers’ skill set.

4. Do you work with one industry more than another?

Depending on the designer or digital agency, they may or may not work with one specific industry. If they don’t have experience in your industry, it’s better to find someone that has more diverse experience.

5. What services can I expect?

Various agencies offer different services. Some full-service agencies provide copywriting, graphic design, SEO, and hosting. Asking this question will help you plan accordingly for the rest of your marketing strategies.

6. Who is going to work on my site?

When dealing with a UX design agency, it is important to learn the answer to this question. For larger agencies, it isn’t uncommon for them to assign a single person to work on your website.

7. What steps do you take when developing sites?

If you aren’t a web design expert, you may not be able to understand everything that needs to be done with your website, but it’s important to ask the designer to walk you through them anyway.

8. Do you use third-party apps or extensions with the website?

As user experience is all about making a site as efficient and functional as possible, in many cases custom plugins and third-party apps must be part of the design.

9. What’s the expected timeline and cost?

While the final cost may change over the course of the project, it is important to get an initial estimation for how long it will take as well as how much it will cost.

10. Will you test the site before going live?

It’s important to test the site before it goes live. When answering this question, the agency should explain what tests they will perform prior to going live.

11. Do I need a new site or can I revamp an existing one?

In many cases, if you have a functioning site already, chances are that it can be improved. This website revamp will be less expensive and less timely than creating a website from scratch.

12. Are you creating a custom design or using a template or theme?

The cheapest way to go about creating a site is to use an existing template. However, if you want something truly unique, the designer can create a new design entirely from scratch.

13. Will the website grow with my business?

Just as you expect your business to expand over time, your site should be designed to accommodate this growth. Ideally, the site should be designed in a way that new pages or widgets can be added without the need for a complete redesign of the site.

14. Is maintenance or a warranty provided?

Technology isn’t perfect. If there are any glitches with your website, you need to know if the design agency will be able to fix them. Ask this question ahead of time to determine if they will charge extra for this maintenance.

15. Can I see layout mockups and wireframes before you begin the development stage?

With complex projects, it’s best to stay informed every step of the way. The designer should be able to provide you with mockups and wireframes prior to moving along with the rest of the project.

16. What web standards do you follow?

Web design is never at a standstill. Make sure your design agency stays up-to-date with the latest UX standards and trends.

17. What are the content management systems that you use?

Websites with a significant amount of content need content management systems to keep things organized. The right agency will be able to integrate one with your site, making changes to the core code as needed.

18. How do you track project-related tasks?

If you have a tight deadline on your website redesign, you need to make sure the designer can handle the pressure.

19. What development tools do you use?

With all the paid and free tools available for design, it’s essential to know which ones the design agency uses. This choice in software will speak to the agency’s level of professionalism.

20. Is the site going to be optimized for search engines?

Some agencies optimize their clients’ sites for search engines. If your agency of choice doesn’t do SEO, you should make plans to tackle search engine optimization yourself.

While all digital agencies should understand the concept of UX design, not all of them are well versed in competently designing for UX itself. As you continue the vetting process for your new hire, keep this guide in mind.

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