Working collaboratively, respecting each other’s expertise and having a shared goal are vital factors when working with a digital design agency.
There are ways to ensure this happens smoothly and that the relationship between the client and agency works well throughout the project. Here are four helpful pieces of advice from our experience that will help clients get the most out of their digital design agency!
Essential advice to consider when choosing a digital design agency In short, getting the best out of your digital design agency is understanding:
- Your project’s specific objective
- You need to trust the agency
- Timeframes need flexibility
- Is the agency the right fit for your brand?
Let’s dive deeper into each point.
1. Define a specific objective
Your digital design agency needs to know what you WANT from your website.
We’ve worked with clients for over 12 years, and one of the biggest challenges we come across is a lack of clear purpose or objective. At Strafe, we work hard to deliver great conversion results; however, we can only achieve this with a clearly defined website objective.
Take, for example, “we want people to contact us”. This objective is too vague for the team and me – how do you want to be contacted? Via phone, contact form, email, or live chat?
On our website, our “project planner” contact form is the best approach to our objective. The information collected tells us you’ve reviewed our site and considered what we offer as a digital design agency. Therefore, our website is built with this objective in mind.
However, the website design will be completely different if you want users to pick up the phone and call you. Digital design agencies like ourselves want to push users to take action on the site, so knowing exactly what this action is, is imperative in all the design and development decisions. Read more about choosing a website’s purpose and sub-purpose.
2. Trust the agency
If you’re asking an agency to pitch, let them prove their expertise.
If you’re looking for a digital design agency to rebuild or update your website, then you might ask for a pitch. The biggest challenge for an agency is when a potential client has already written their own pitch for the agency to deliver on. It leaves no wriggle room for an agency to showcase its expertise or offer its USP – ultimately, clients will get a bunch of quotes that look exactly the same.
Instead, I’d recommend sharing the goals or issues of the business. Give context about what you do, what makes you stand out from your competitors, and why people should buy from you – then let us do the design work.
It will give digital design agencies like us here at Strafe the opportunity to showcase our expertise in conversion-led UX design in our pitch rather than following a prescriptive set of guidelines. For example, if you are struggling to get people to sign up for your software, we can propose a design that helps solve that issue.
For more insight into creating a really great RFP, read this blog.
3. Understand the timeframes
A project might take longer than you think.
Every agency offers a different approach to a digital design project. Some use templates, plugins and pre-designed sites, meaning they can design and deliver in a shorter time frame. At Strafe, we design the site from scratch, which takes much longer (read about the full process here), but it does mean the site is more personalised and typically has a higher conversion rate. In fact, we actually guarantee an improved conversion rate thanks to our tried and tested formula.
Working towards realistic timescales is essential; you’ve got to have enough time to plan, design and deliver the project. Our advice is to discuss with your digital design agency their processes, realistic time frames, costs for your project and then be open-minded. Agencies always want to deliver the best result possible, and this will be reflected in their approach!
4. Can you work together well?
Is the digital design agency a good fit for your organisation in terms of process, ethos and approach?
To get the best results from your website or design project, it’s important to consider the agency’s ethos compared to your business. Key considerations are, do you work in a similar way? Do you have complementary goals? Do you have mutual respect for each other’s expertise?
At Strafe, we are very process driven. We always ensure that our clients understand the steps we take throughout the design and development process and help them see the value in each one. If a client doesn’t ‘get it’ per se, then working together will prove difficult. By being upfront about how we do things, we ensure that our clients get the most out of the relationship and the project itself. We’ve written a really transparent summary of what it’s like to work with us, so you can be sure about what you’re getting into before you get in touch.
Of course, every agency has a different approach to us, so be sure to research and have those exploratory conversations that will make all the difference to the end results!
If Strafe sounds like the digital design agency for you, get in touch using our Project Planner below.