Why in the world would you hire a design consultant to redesign your website? One of the blog readers recently sent me a question similar to this one, and I think it's worth a response.
Regardless of whether you have web designers on staff, it's worthwhile to hire a consultant for a website redesign for many reasons. Here are 5 things hiring a web design consultant brings to the table:
1. Outside perspective
A web design consultant can remove the blinders and think from a customer's perspective. A consultant isn't familiar with your company's lingo and jargon, helping you write better content that your customers will find useful. Good consultants can familiarize themselves with the essence of your brand quickly and deliver creative concepts that fit both your business needs as a company and your customers' needs as well.
2. Breadth of knowledge
Web design consultants likely have worked for many different companies in a vast array of industries, so they can bring innovative ideas to your web redesign project. A good web redesign consultant will become immersed in your business and bring fresh, new ideas to a project. Additionally, a good design consultant will have ideas about more than just the web design of your website -- they will also offer up marketing and product ideas. You can also trust that a seasoned web consultant is at the forefront of their industry and that they know the latest and greatest techniques to help your company achieve success online.
3. Ability to overcome organizational politics
Many organizations have internal conflict which really bog down a website redesign project. There are often as many ideas as people, so a consultant will propel the project forward by answering many of the "what abouts" and "hows" of the project. For instance, a good web design consultant will be able to tell you how your web customer uses your web site, often answering questions that are raised internally.
4. Empirical approach
While it's necessary that your web consultant has participated in lots of qualitative research, your design consultant should also have a keen understanding of how to approach the design of your site from a quantitative perspective. Setting objectives and defining success metrics, then measuring those with web analytics tools are critical to the success of any web site redesign project. With so many possible web metrics to choose from, a seasoned professional web design consultant can define a manageable set of metrics and show you how to measure them. A consultant that believes in tracking success metrics believes in the value of their services because numbers evoke accountability and hard proof that the project was a success or failure.
5. Passion and drive
Last but certainly not least, hire a good web design consultant will be passionate about seeing their clients succeed. The best web consultants will go above and beyond a client's expectations and are excited and motivated by a challenge.