Q&A with Website Designer, Jill Glodek

Welcome to spring! Can you believe it is already April? As part of our spring cleaning, we’re going to help you get a jump start on designing your website, thanks to Jill Glodek, Principal and Creative Director at Jill Design Studio, LLC. We’ve asked Jill some commonly asked questions about website design, and we hope her answers will give you some insight on your own website design. Let’s get started….

  1. How long have you offered website design services?
    10 years.
  2. How does the process work when starting a website design?
    Discovery is always the first step. This includes an initial meeting involving the complete project team. The goal is to gather requirements, ideas, wishes and concerns about the existing or new site. Depending on your project needs, this can also include interviews with stakeholders, key donors, etc., to learn what features and functions of the website are most relevant and useful.

    Every site has its unique challenges. We composite a current project timeline with specific milestones and define goals before we even begin the design process.

  3. When working with a client, how do you decide on the general look and feel of the website?
    We find a great and intuitive website design always starts with a great conversation. We gather feedback on likes and dislikes and welcome any information the client wants to share. Then we work our magic.

    Included in our initial creative plan are two distinct design directions for the home page and a select interior page for each. This selection creates the basis for the overall look of the site.

  4. When designing a site, what kind of things do you take into account?
    Good website designs go beyond just looking good. They need to function effortlessly and intuitively. Therefore we initially capture the client’s goals, target audiences and key outcomes for the site, so we can incorporate that into the design and function.

    As designers, we strongly feel website designs do NOT all have to look like a standard shoebox template (header/banner/quadrant call outs). A site that functions well can also be aesthetic…and it SHOULD be.

  5. How do you determine a budget and timeline for the target date of completion?
    Using our past experience, we are able to closely estimate timeline and budget based on the clients needs.  Our budget is set on an hourly basis, based on the scope of the project.
  6. What would you say to someone who is implementing a site for the first time?
    Whether it is the first time for a site or a site in need of revamping, usually clients come to us because something is not working. Many businesses posted sites years ago, just to have a web presence. But currently websites are far more than an online brochure, they are a vehicle to communicate with customers and contacts. The information has to be current and consistently updated. For this reason all our sites are backed with content management systems, allowing the client to update information easily.
  7. How do you know you are a good fit for your client?
    We have a very broad design range, so usually we find a fit quite easily. Good communication is key here too.
  8. After you have defined a scope for a client, we find there’s a lot of scope creep.  How do you handle that with your client?
    Quite often clients expand their needs once the project becomes “more real” to them … usually at the design stage.  Sometimes they add more functionality than they had originally requested.  If that occurs, we have another meeting about goals and adapt the project scope according to what we have all decided…collectively.

    Conversation is a key element in a final successful website design. So we keep the communication open and always remain accessible.

  9. How do you define your client’s expectations, and how do you measure your level of success?
    For us, one of the main goals of the discovery phase is to clearly define the client’s expectations.  But it’s important to mention, in addition to meeting the client’s expectations, we are successful only if the client’s site is successful.  So, in that way, we become a partner to our clients.  If we achieve that type and level of trust, we have successfully attained the goals of both the client and ourselves.
  10. Have you had a client that hasn’t liked the end result and how did you address it?
    This sounds like we are bragging, but so far this has not happened. We work hard to communicate effectively during the design process, to make sure that our customers are pleased. We believe in tremendous customer service, and this seems to keep our customers happy.

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing from Jill about her experiences.  If you would like to know more about her company, Jill Design Studio, LLC, check out her website JillDesignStudio.com.

You can also look forward to next month, when we will have a Q&A with one of our website developers.  Until then, if you would like to learn about how “image is everything” affected Andre Agassi, professional men’s tennis player, you should read “Open:  An Autobiography”.

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