How to Choose a Designer

How to Choose a Designer.

When building web apps, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is who will do the design work. Your app is likely to fail if the design and usability are poor.

For the new web app we’re building we’ve chosen Jason Santa Maria and we couldn’t be happier. I thought it would be helpful to share how we made that choice.

So we had three quotes from three very talented and capable designers. How did we choose who to work with?

Firstly, let’s make it clear what we didn’t choose on. We didn’t choose based on price (Jason’s quote was in the middle). We didn’t choose based on location (Jason lives across the Atlantic Ocean). So what did we base our decision on? We chose Jason based on the following four things:

  1. Enthusiasm: He made it clear to us that he would work very hard on the project
  2. Experience: He has a very good grasp of simplicity and usability
  3. Flexibility: He has a wide range of styles (look at the difference between his personal site and A List Apart)
  4. Speed: He already understands Web Standards and Accessibility
  5. Trust: He is very friendly and easy to work with, and we felt we could trust him

The Deciding Factor

The fact we felt we could trust Jason was the deciding factor. He made the effort to spend time with us and really got to know us. He communicated that he was very interested in the project and would put everything he had into it. Because of this, it wasn’t risky to choose him as the designer. We knew what we were getting.

So what’s the lesson for designers? Meeting your potential clients in person and getting to know them can be the deciding factor that gets you the job. Getting out there and making those connections is paramount and if you do, you’ll never be short of work [Signal vs. Noise]

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