There are some designers that follow instructions from the client and are just hands on the keyboard. That's fine for some projects, especially if the client has a clear vision for the site, and can communicate it. Those are not the type of projects that designers enjoy, however.
We may be experts with the technical aspects of design and development, but what we really get paid for is our expertise in how websites should look and be built. We want to solve the client's problem through user experience improvements, not be dictated to about a design.
When solving problems with your site, these are the questions we want to know:
- Where are you looking to bring the business?
- What kind of tone or personality do you want your business to have?
- What are the specific features does the site need to improve your prospects' experience?
- Who are your ideal customers, and what are your competitors doing?
- What are your traffic numbers and conversion rates?
The two most common problems with sites involve the last question, either a lack of traffic or a lack of conversion.
Improving traffic to your site may mean implementing a better hierarchy of elements on the page so it's easier for search engines to parse the site, and improve your rankings. Other changes can be making the site easy to use with common-sense, data-driven design decisions.
To improve conversion rates, standard best practices come into play like including call to actions in the header and above the fold, and simple, straight-forward language calling out the UVP. Also, hiding the menu or other avenues for visitors to leave a landing page will increase conversion rates.
Finally, adding CTAs to blog posts or text CTAs in the middle of a post will give readers more channels to get to your landing pages in the first place.
There's other problems that websites can have, which do include the overall design not matching with the business, especially if there's been a change in products or services. And your designer will also be able to give you recommendations on the platform you should use, if you're looking to bring in a marketing automation tool like HubSpot or switch over from an older, static site.
When working with your designer on your new site, be sure to bring them up to speed with your business goals, and not just send them new logos and colors from your rebrand. Think of your designer as a conversion consultant who can also implement the technical side of the project.