Business Tips

Web Design Business Tips from Howell Edwards Ltd

How to Make the Most of Your Web Designer

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Web Design Business Tips from Howell Edwards Ltd

At Howell Edwards, we thrive on creating and nurturing great relationships with our clients. We pride ourselves on being known as approachable and helpful, especially when we’re working on huge, defining projects such as branding and website designs. We know that taking the plunge and hiring a web designer can be a daunting and intimidating task, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you.

We’ll be completely honest – some of our projects haven’t gone as well as they could have. The one thing that these projects have in common is that our clients were afraid to give us their honest feedback. Ultimately, we want our clients to be thrilled with their finished website – so we’ll do everything we can to ensure it happens. We, or any other web designer, can only do that if our customers are honest about what they like and dislike from a design. We’ve learnt from this, and changed our approach to web design to try and ensure that our clients feel validated and recognised. It’s really important for us to build a strong relationship with our clients so that from initial design through to the website launch, everything runs smoothly, efficiently, and, most importantly for our clients, cost effectively.

We know how important and personal that your web design is for your brand, so we’ve collected some advice and tips to help you make the most of your web designer, and help you get the result that you deserve.

1. Remember Why You Hired a Designer
There’s a reason that you’ve hired a designer – because we’re the experts. You’ve probably spent hours looking through portfolios, case studies, and testimonials, to find a designer that you like. There’s a reason that you’ve chosen them to deliver you a product that you’ll love – because that’s what they do. A professional web designer has all the knowledge and skills needed to give you a website that fulfils your needs, that you’re proud to show off and send people to. They will stay ahead of the curve, abreast of the latest trends, and at the forefront of visual technology. If they’re recommending or suggesting something that maybe doesn’t align with your initial thoughts, there’s a reason for it. Placing your trust in your designer is essential to a great end result.

2. Be Prepared
At the heart of it, web design is problem solving; designing a website that looks visually stunning, gives excellent user experience, and provides long term solutions for your business. This could be through an integrated e-commerce platform, it could be through an eye-catching portfolio site; whatever you’re looking for, web design has a solution. In order to be able to solve your brand’s problems, your web designer will need to know what they are. A detailed brief, including as much information about your business, target audiences, competitors, goals, and more, is a great way to do this. The more insight that your designer has, the better their design will meet your expectations.

Your website designer will almost certainly need your site content, so spend some time preparing everything you want to include on your new website. This can be everything from your brand assets like your logo and style guide, to your visual imagery – any photographs and videos that you have, your site copy, happy client testimonials, your social media links. The more prepared you are to begin with, the more information that your designer will have, and the more efficiently your web design project will run.
We can design and develop a website that works for you and your business. Whatever you’re looking for, we’re always happy to design and build a refreshed website, custom tailored to your needs and comprising all the functionality you require. So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today, we would love to hear from you.

3. Be Honest
Above all else, both you and your designer will want your website to be something that you’re ecstatic to show off. The only way to achieve this is by giving honest, constructive feedback to your designer. If you don’t like something about the design, let them know. If something about the functionality isn’t right, tell them. Your knowledge of your business and customers is invaluable when it comes to offering feedback for the website, so make sure that you’re honest and communicative when your designer asks for your thoughts.

4. Avoid Involving Too Many Cooks
It can be really tempting to ask your friends and family for their opinions on your web design – but this almost always ends up being a hindrance rather than a help. A design element that you absolutely loved can be thrown into doubt by Auntie Brenda’s “I don’t like the colour.” Ultimately, you’re the decision maker, and it’s you that understands your website’s aims. Try and leave other’s subjective opinions behind and focus on your goals.

We hope this has been helpful if you’re getting ready to take the plunge and commission your new website. We know it can be daunting, but trusting that you’ve found the right designer, being prepared, and giving honest, focused feedback will help to ensure that you get a result that you’re proud to show off.

We can design and develop a website that works for you and your business. Whatever you’re looking for, we’re always happy to design and build a refreshed website, custom tailored to your needs and comprising all the functionality you require. So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today, we would love to hear from you.

Branding Design

Spring Cleaning – Refresh your Brand

By | Business Tips, Branding | No Comments

Spring has sprung! Let’s ignore the snow and storms that are still refusing to go away, and embrace the extra sunlight at the end of the days. This also means it’s time for our yearly Spring Clean. Spring Cleaning is a great habit to get into; refreshing, cleaning and purging your home and life feels productive and gives you a positive feeling ready for Summer and the rest of the year.

But why limit yourself to your home – Spring is also a perfect time to refresh your branding! Brands are organic – they grow and change over time. Therefore it’s important to regularly review your branding to ensure every part of your visual identity is relevant, accurate and consistent.

Step One: Take a Brand Audit

A brand audit is the first step to take as it will determine what, if any, actions you need to take. Questions to ask yourself:

  • Is your target audience still relevant? Have they changed or evolved since you started your business? Is it time to adjust the clients you serve?
  • Are your objective and goals still relevant? Have they changed as your business has evolved?
  • Do you need to update your offering and services? Are there services not selling that you can change for something that would better serve your customers? Spring is a great time to take a step back and look at current industry trends and market changes, to ensure that you are working with the most highly profitable and rewarding services you have to offer.
  • Are your Social Media accounts up to date? Do you have a consistent visual identity across them? Are they as complete as they can be and do they reflect your voice and values?
  • Have you looked at your internet presence? Are there any articles or blog posts that determine how you’re branded across the net? Do you have any out of date or undesirable information coming up in searches? It can be worth setting up a Google Alert for your business and brand to be notified if anyone mentions you.
  • Are your branded materials consistent? Is your logo still representative of you as a brand and a business? Is your business card design failing to seal the deal? Does your website effectively show off your services and make it easy for potential leads to contact you?

Step Two: Decide on an Action Plan

Based on the information and results you’ve pulled from your brand audit, you can put together a plan of action to keep everything relevant, positive, and consistent:

  • Ensure that your target audience is refined and accurate.
  • Ensure that your business objectives and goals are refined and documented.
  • Ensure that your services are defined, up to date and as on brand as possible.
  • Update your social media accounts with current photographs, cover images, and website links. Ensure that your information is as accurate as possible.
  • Where possible, correct out of date information and links. Set up Google Alerts so you can keep abreast of the media.
  • Consider rebranding.

What is Rebranding?

At Howell Edwards, we try and keep our work, brand, and correspondence as transparent and straight-forward as possible. We know that designers and developers can throw around misleading and confusing terms that bewilder some clients – we’re working hard to avoid that and be as accessible as possible for our clients.

Rebranding is one of those terms. What exactly is rebranding?

The truth is, rebranding can be different for every client and every project. It can mean completely stripping back the entire visual identity, designing a new company logo and every associated asset. It could also mean drastically changing the branding design for every aspect of the company identity – apart from the logo. It is completely possible for the same logo to look extremely fresh, modern and different, by changing all the assets around it. Rebranding can also mean simply refreshing the content that a client currently has, for example restructuring a website to have a more user-friendly navigation system and typeface.

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that a brand exists only in the minds of consumers. So, rebranding is about changing what people believe that your company does, and how they feel about you, whether this is by changing your logo, business card, website, or all three.

A rebrand can help you re-align your business with your brand values, voice, and ideal clients and customers. Spring is the perfect time of year to refresh and renew your branding, so why not?

How Can We Help?

We can help you with your rebranding needs, whether it’s a new company logo, a better, clearer company website, refreshed visual assets like business cards and brochures, or all of the above. So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today.