The most important part of getting a great looking website is of course, choosing the right designer. But once that designer is found there are things that you can do that will help your designer to create a website that not only fits your needs, but that suits your personal style as well.
Before you approach a designer about working on a site, the vast majority of your site content (i.e. logo, text and photos, if you’ve already selected photos that you’d like to have included) should be ready. “Why,” you ask, “why not just have the site designed first and plunk in the text and other content around that?” Well, that could be done, but there are 2 good reasons not to: 1) If a designer constructs a website without first seeing the logo, he or she may not leave enough space to properly highlight it. If you have a beautiful logo, you want the space it appears in on your site to be the optimal size, shape and color to fit it and display it properly. 2) If the designer has the text, he/she will better know where to insert images, icons, widgets, etc. to break up the text and make it more visually appealing.
Show your website designer samples of several sites you like and sites you hate. Tell them about elements of different sites that appeal to you and components that drive you crazy. Tell them about colors combinations you love and show them examples of these colors being used in a way you like. Doing this will give your designer a better vision of your personal style and will allow them to design a site that you will find irresistible!
Do you want a little bit of your personality infused into the site? Tell your designer about you! Are you fun, goofy, serious, grumpy? If you want your site to reflect a little of you, let your designer know.
While it’s all well and good to design a site that is visually appealing to you, in the end, if you are trying to sell something, you should always have your target audience in mind (along with your own personal preferences of course). No one knows your target audience better than you, so tell your designer about them. What do they like? What don’t they like? Are they young or old? Male or female? Married or single? Any details you can give your designer about your target market will help him/her design a site that will be attractive to that market.
Knowing this information from the beginning of a project should get your designer on the right track to designing the best site for you as an individual, or for your business. While the designer knows design, you know you, your business and your target audience best. So share that information with them and have them create a website you’ll fall in love with.