I’m a freelance web designer with ten years’ experience.
When I take on turnkey projects, I look for other specialists, and it can be difficult because you don’t know other areas, and you don’t understand how to choose, what to look for. So, I decided to write an article and share my subjective vision of my field.
Study the portfolio
One evaluation criterion is often used: whether you like the work or not. This criterion is suitable if you have a task to create a promotional site, or a business card, and you are looking for a designer with the most beautiful and suitable in your opinion works. And if you need an online shop, or conversion banding? It’s worth plugging in other evaluation criteria. What else can you focus on:
Ask about conversion rates;
Ask if the vendor has redesigned the website and how the conversion rate has changed after the redesign;
Ask him if he did himself prototypes, graphics. This will give you an idea of what he did in the work;
You can choose an interesting solution from the artist’s recent work and ask him to comment on how he came to this solution. This will give you a better idea of how well thought out the decision was, and you will be able to better understand his level;
If it is an online shop, request links to live sites and see how easy it is to use and whether everything is clear;
Ask about experience, about courses taken, about what tools the person has, this is not always useful, but sometimes it is. For example, you need a very thoughtful UX, and you find out that the person has taken one of the top courses in this area;
Find out if there have been projects in your field, although this isn’t necessary, but it will increase the chances that the contractor will do well because they already know a little bit about your field.
Your job is to see if the contractor can solve your problem, but you won’t know that by focusing on one criterion. It may even happen that you like the contractor’s work, but he has only done a small part of it. He was given a prototype, given ready-made photos, and he thoughtlessly put it together. You start working with him, and then you get disappointed.
For example, my distinguishing feature is the analysis of some cases, i.e. when I package a case, I don’t just show a picture, I tell which solutions I have applied and why, so that the client can understand how I came to certain solutions when examining the portfolio.
When you have chosen your performer, ask him your questions, then watch what kind of questions he asks. This is important. If the performer after the start of work, does not ask any question, then there are two ways: either you have given a detailed TOR describing everything you need, or the person is unprofessional.
Because how can he do something qualitatively, without immersing himself in the niche, without understanding. Some people think that if they don’t ask questions, they are pros, but no. Most likely, he took your sketch, prototype, or text, and immediately went to do the design. You may even end up with a beautiful design that you accept, but who’s to say it will be thoughtful and effective?
Also important is initiative, which many of the freelancers I’ve come across lack. You have to tell everything, show, fix a mistake yourself, think of something by yourself, not always this point can be identified at the start, but if you feel that all the initiative comes from you, it is better to stop before it’s too late, and look for another performer.
It’s also important that the contractor draw up an estimate, which includes: the amount (or hourly price), stages of work, timing for each stage, what goes in and out of the work, how communication will be done, etc. Each contractor has a different list, but it should not look like this: “5 days, 500 francs Work? If the project is very small, for example a banner needs to be made or a preliminary estimate is being made, then this is appropriate, in other cases it is not.
This is especially true if you are going to work on a contract, and it also shows the contractor’s approach to the work. The less is the estimate, the more pitfalls can arise, and a professional designer knows it, and describes all the details in the estimate.
For example, he can say that author’s illustrations are not included in the work. If this is not discussed beforehand problems can arise.
To assess the quality of the work you should use additional evaluation criteria. Watch what questions the doer asks and how he/she approaches the work. Make sure the estimate does not consist of two words, otherwise pitfalls may appear in the process. I hope these three tips will save you money and time.