A motivated web designer is 2x as effective as an un-motivated web designer. While it’s ultimately your web designer’s responsibility to have a good attitude and work hard for you, he/she is human and is subject to the same emotional challenges that we all face. Here are six “pro tips” for motivating web designers.
1. Make the project a personal priority
Your web designer doesn’t need you to hold their hand through the entire process (in fact, they’d prefer it if you didn’t.. see below). However, they need to know that it’s a priority for you. Long periods of silence, poor quality feedback, content/instructions that have not been fully thought through are web designer de-motivators.
2. Communicate effectively
90% of the disagreements I’ve seen between web designers and customers stem from poor communication. One of the best tools: regular standing meetings. Whether that’s daily, weekly or bi-weekly depends on your project velocity, but it’s important to schedule regular check-ins. You can decide whether these meetings are in person, on the phone or simply through email, but the point I’m trying to make is that you and your web designer absolutely must discuss your communication expectations.
3. Don’t haggle on price
At the risk of sounding self-serving, it’s really quite a de-motivator when you try to negotiate a lower price than your web designer is asking for. Most designers are fairly introverted and non-confrontational, but they’ve given some serious thought to what they think they’re worth and don’t like being talked down. When you try to negotiate a lower price, it feels like you’re saying “I don’t think your time is worth that much.” Whether or not they concede to your request, I would submit that you will actually get the MORE value out of your web designer if you pay them what they’re asking than what you might save by talking them down. I’m not saying you should write a blank check. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be accountable for the time they spend. But they need to know that you agree that they are “worth it.”
4. Show appreciation
The simplest expressions of appreciation go so, SO far. Buy them pizza, take them out to lunch, send them a “thank you” text or a “we love it” email. Share with them the good things that customers say about your website. This is the easiest, most affordable way to motivate your web designer that I know of.
5. Give them some space
Web design is a creative exercise and web designers are creative people. They need parameters (as all of us do), but don’t be afraid to let loose a little and give your web designer some creative license. This may occasionally back-fire, but more often than not you will find yourself surprised or even elated with what he/she comes up with.
6. Give them a challenge
Whenever possible, give your web designer the opportunity to take on a new challenge. Trust them with bigger responsibility. Allow them to do something they’ve never done before. Again, this may seem scary at first, but you’ll find that the extra goodwill it engenders will pay for itself a hundred times over.
What do you do to motivate your web designer?