Here are my thoughts –
- When you work with on outside firm, you save by not having to hire a person and have them on staff for this purpose. The design won’t be too altered, so outsource is a good option. One can maintain the site internally once it’s done and delivered.
- By hiring an outside firm, you also get the expertise and know how of a firm, that has hopefully been doing this for a living and for a while. They can offer you a range of solutions both in case of information architecture as well as design for the website. And the designs that you will receive are from a group of designers and not just one individual.
- It is not always necessary to outsource to local firm /freelancer. For most web development projects there’s no need to see someone in person, especially for a smaller site. It can be done via phone and emails.
- Design work will slow down after a month or two. A freelancer is flexible enough to pick up work as you need. You only need to pay a freelancer for the work they do. There is also a range of skill levels available to suit your budget.
- If you are a developer, then you should ask the design agency/resource to provide you with static HTML pages. Paying for more (working templates) is not worth it, because you’re going to be modifying those over the life of your business; your employees need to know and love how they work. Paying for less is risky because it can be time-consuming to translate a mockup into a working HTML page (browser, screen-size compatibility, layout issues, etc).
- Make sure you wireframe before you even think about look and feel. You can do this yourselves if you have prior experience with UX design. If not make sure your designer is skilled in that area and isn’t “just” a graphic designer.
Would love to hear your views…