There’s a lot of web designers out there. How do you know that the one you’re thinking about hiring is a great one? Here are a 10 characteristics to watch out for:

1. They’re great listeners– The most important characteristic of a great web designer is the ability to listen and understand what your needs are. Great designers are able figure out what you’re talking about if even you don’t. They also know the right questions to ask in order to dig deeper into what you want and need.

2. They respect your ideas– A great designer is always welcome to hearing about any ideas that you might have. The best designers encourage you to share your ideas with them and if possible integrate them into the final design. They also respect you well enough to explain why an idea won’t work and can do so in a manner that neither belittles your or embarrasses you.

3. They communicate well– As well as the ability to listen, the ability to communicate well another characteristic of a great web designer. They should be able to explain web terminology and technologies in plain English.

4. They are well versed in Internet and web technologies– The best web designers are very knowledge and proficient in the technologies of the web and in the tools used in building website. Great web designers are well versed in coding in HTML, developing graphics for the web, designing layouts in CSS, maintaining websites, and working with multimedia.

5. They use technology to achieve specific goals– There’s a difference between being proficient and knowledgeable about all the latest web technologies and knowing when and where to use them. Not only are great web designers knowledgeable about all things web, but they are also wise enough to know what techniques and technologies are appropriate for a particular site.

6. They keep business goals in mind as well as design goals– There are a lot of very talented designers that can make beautiful looking websites. But the best web designers not only know how to create a beautiful website, but they also know how to make an effective one as well. They remember that your website isn’t a billboard for their design, but a showcase for your work or your product. They also know that your site needs to attract visitors, encourage sales or sales leads, to inform, or even to entertain.

7. They’re not afraid to suggest things that will save you time and money– A great web designer is very cautious about using your time and your money. They are happy to suggest a solution that will save you time and money, even if it ultimately means less money for them.

8. They have a cohesive, visually pleasing design aesthetic– Of course a great designer must have the ability to create beautiful looking designs. The websites they build must be attractive, easy to get around on, and easy to alter if you need to add or delete sections. The color choices must be pleasing to the eye and easy to read text on. A great designer should also have the ability to design for a range of aesthetics and moods.

9. They’re able to create a site that integrates with an existing design– If you already have brochures, logos, or packaging for your work a great web designer should be able to have your website match that look. Even if you’ve used another designer to develop your business cards and packaging, a great web designer can develop your site so it looks like one designer has done everything.

10. They have a clear development process– Great designers have been through the web building process over and over again. They know the pitfalls and can take steps to avoid them. They’ve done enough websites to be able to predict each step of the development process and should be able to come up with a fairly accurate estimate of how much and how long a particular website will take.

Author: Nicolette Tallmadge