How should I choose a right design agency?
Certainly, there are a lot of agencies out there. But how can you know which is the right one to choose? They may be in your city or at thousand miles away in another country.
In the increasingly growing world of digital media and brands, great design is what both businesses and consumers are seeking. Hence, having a uniform design and voice of your brand is quite important to establish your brand’s presence in digital media.
Great brands have great design agencies
Great design creates a meaningful first impression and makes the user believe that they are getting back more than the value they are paying for your product or service.
A great design also helps you stand out from your competitors, solve problems and boost your brand’s value. It not just satisfies the users’ needs but delights them. Milton Glaser has set the bar for the great design:
“There are three responses to a piece of design—yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”
Companies like Apple, IBM, Airbnb, Starbucks etc. have made design their top priority and we can see where they’re at today. They never miss a moment to “WOW” their customers.
This is how most successful companies are working- by prioritizing design to improve their functioning and brand presence. If you have a start-up or a small business, it is imperative that you get on board the designing trend too. Here’s why:
1. First impressions matter
An age-old saying that holds true even now- first impressions, may it be a person or a website, matter a lot as people make immediate judgements from appearances.
In fact, three studies found that it takes users just 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about a website. That’s super fast!
Google’s study found out that within the incredibly short time frames of 17 and 50 milliseconds, users build an initial opinion about the website which helps them decide if they want to stay or leave.
This first impression depends on many factors like structure of information, colours, spacing, symmetry, amount of text, font etc.
The study says that there are two main design factors that influence users’ impression of websites:
Visual complexity and prototypicality
The former one is self-explanatory i.e. it is how complex the visual design of the website is and the latter one is how representative a design looks for a certain category of websites. This study revealed that websites with low visual complexity and high prototypicality were perceived as highly appealing. Isn’t that obvious?
Therefore, Google recommends that website designs should be kept simple (low complexity) and familiar (high prototypicality) to create an appealing first impression.
2. Makes you stand out
When consumers have to make a choice between websites or apps that have the same features and advantages, they often choose the one that is visually more pleasing.
In Crowdspring’s blog on Why Good Design is More Important Than Ever for Your Business, the author explains that ‘human beings have an attractiveness bias; we perceive beautiful things as being better, regardless of whether they actually are better.’
As a user ourselves, we prefer beautiful and attractive things, we believe that anything that looks better will naturally function better (in all areas of life).
Therefore, beautiful and thoughtful design is the way to stand out!
3. Solves problems
How your project looks is important for its success but whether it is addressing the user’s problems or not, is more important.
Understanding the pain point of your users and trying to solve them with design is actually one of its prime purposes.
So, instead of going for simply attractive designs, you must go for functional designs.
4. Boosts the business
Customers tend to avoid websites that are badly designed. It means that design plays a crucial role in attracting more users to your business and retaining them.
Most of the top companies are leading with design. They are investing in design because they have realised its importance. This is what small companies and startups need to realise too.
While the investment in design cannot be measured or associated with ROI, there are various techniques that can prove its importance in businesses.
A report published by Adobe in 2015 states that with 15 minutes to consume content, 66% would prefer to view something beautifully designed vs. simple and plain.’
5. Helps you connect to your customers
If a great design will make you stand out and solve a user’s problem, it is obviously going to connect with the customers. So, make sure you have a great layout, smart fonts, appealing colours and meaningful content to drive your users to emotionally connect with your business.
By incorporating impactful design elements and content in the visual display of your brand will show your users what you are and what you stand for.
Rather than reaching their wallets, aim for reaching their hearts and establishing a connection. This will immediately build an impression with your audience and make them feel connected with you.
Share your company’s values and principles as there’s no better way to secure consumer loyalty than by connecting through your shared values. A great design is the most effective way to illustrate that.
Now that you know the importance of great design and how it can help your business, you must be wondering how to choose the right designer or designing agency. Well, we have the answer!
If you are looking for someone who can understand your business by sitting down with you, collaborating and adding value to it by their design, you are looking at the right place.
At Octet Design Studio, we design with a result-driven interactive approach by strongly understanding the goals of your business and your users’ behaviour.
We create designs that will not only resonate with you and your business but also with your target audience.
But before choosing a designer or designing agency, here are some of the things you must know.
1. Review their portfolio
Almost all designing agencies display their work on their websites or put links to images or projects they’ve worked on.
Checking your prospective designer’s portfolio will give you an idea about their quality of work viz. how they have designed site architecture, look and feel, user experience, content and its placement. By reviewing their portfolio pieces, you can see if you like any particular approach and then decide what you want for your project.
Your project is obviously going to look different than any projects you like, but most designers or agencies usually have a signature style that can be observed in every project. If you like a particular style and think it suits your business then you can go ahead with that designer or agency.
However, after going through their designs, you should make sure who they’ve worked for.
2. Request for professional affiliations
You have reviewed your prospective design agency’s portfolio, and you like their creativity.
The next thing you need to do is check their credibility. Come out of the design and check who have they designed for. If they have been affiliated with good brands, companies- and if they’re real.
It so happens that many designers put up websites or app designs for companies that don’t really exist.
The designers are simply faking a company name to showcase their designs. While that is okay, make sure you also check for the actual brands or companies the designer or agency has worked for. Having the backing of big names obviously increases their credibility.
3. Ensure the design quality is great
Everyone’s taste is different, but there should always be a level of quality to a designer’s work. The best place to understand the quality of work of any designer or designing agency is their website.
Obviously, it doesn’t need to match the work you want for your project, but it will showcase its quality, whether it is matching the modern design trends, is outdated, poorly maintained or is up-to-date and functioning well.
4. Look for versatility
Although you like a particular design, make sure the designing agency you’re looking at has versatility in its work. From print advertising to video or web pages, all should be a part of their portfolio so you can get a better idea of their expertise. The designers should also be adept at using the latest coding protocols and be able to test web pages in different browsers so that the content is displayed properly.
5. Take risks
By taking risks we mean that you should always opt for designers who are ready to try new things with their designs. You should be open to bold and bright ideas, trust the designer if he suggests a specific thing for your project, take his/her input when it comes to creativity and takes the risk.
6. Plan a budget
Planning a budget for getting the project design is a vital task to ensure you don’t end up spending more than required. Whether it is a freelance designer or a designing agency, make sure you have a number in mind.
To plan the design budget, start with deciding how important is the design to the success of this project? If it is extremely important, be ready to be flexible on what portion of your overall budget goes to get the best designer that you can afford.
You’re all set. All the information on how to select the right designer or designing agency for your project is laid out here. Don’t forget to check out our portfolio, if you like it, get in touch with us here to know more about our pricing or if you have any other questions. Happy designer hunting!
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