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7 Things to Look for in a Web Design Agency

Here’s our checklist of 7 things that will help you find a web design agency that works for you!

1. Reviewing an Agency’s Portfolio

Taking a look at a design agency's portfolio or case studies and identifying the agency's style, expertise, and experience with previous clients in your industry or similar projects can help you determine whether they’re appropriate for you. As we mentioned in the introduction, the design goes further than how it looks; it involves analysing data-driven results and understanding audience habits to optimise outcomes.

Portfolios allow agencies to showcase their creative abilities, document their process, and identify unique features they implemented to improve the clients' UX and UI to achieve desired results.

This gives you the chance to understand the quality of work the agency provides, customer testimonials, the success and scale of projects, and experience while working collaboratively with a brand. Ensuring you choose a partner whose capabilities align with your business goals can save you time, money, and resources while achieving desired outcomes.

2. Your Goals and Requirements

Knowing your goals as a business and requirements is crucial when looking for a web design agency, for example if you have a strict deadline or budget, want specific features, or need bespoke design, transparency from both sides can help you understand how cohesive the process will be, and how the agency handles projects by establishing alignment from the start.

An experienced agency can help you plan a roadmap for how the web design process will look. Whether you want a complete overhaul of the design or a progressive roll-out of features that meet your budget, understanding your expectations can help the agency identify how achievable this is.

Some agencies will have out-of-the-box designs with little room for unique features. This may be perfect for a small business with simple requirements; however, if you have customisable products or complex business processes, something more complex will be needed. This leads nicely to budgets.

3. Your Budget

Understanding what you can afford as a business is important; this can be defined by the timeframe and your wants and needs, just to name a few. Aligning these expectations with your team and the desired agency from the start will help ensure cost-effectiveness and help both parties collaboratively plan in line with budgets and timescales for the projected roadmap. 

Competitor agencies and industry-standard costs should also be considered to identify the agency's competitiveness. 

4. Their Expertise

Not all agencies specialise in all platforms. You wouldn’t ideally choose a roofer to do your electrics, however capable they may seem! The same goes for when you’re selecting a web design agency, choosing an agency that specialises in website design for your platform will help you get the most out of the project. Bonus points if they have experience with clients and projects within your industry!

Finding an agency that knows the platform inside out will aid the project's development stage, ideally, the web designers will work closely with web developers to create something achievable for your chosen platform. 

It is also important to select an agency that specialises in a specific area you want to develop. If you're looking to optimise your responsive design due to an increase in mobile users or improve the accessibility of your site, finding a designer who has proven experience in this area will be a crucial factor when selecting who to work with to help you achieve your goals and improve your customers' user experience.

5. Communication and Collaboration

At Develo, we find many prospective clients are wanting an agency to be an ‘extension of their team’, so it’s key that we work collaboratively and communication is clear.

As mentioned, outlining your goals and requirements from the start can help you identify any bumps in the road before starting with an agency. An experienced agency will work collaboratively with you and make suggestions that can optimise the user's experience, and that can be created on your platform - an agency with both developers and designers can help you understand how realistic your expectations are, a design can be created but knowing if this is achievable by the development team within your budget and timeframe could change the course of the project.

A web designer should understand your buyer journeys and how your ideal customer interacts with your site and project. They will manage the web design closely with your team, helping you understand the design process, how communication will be carried out, and how frequently and provide you with opportunities to review the designs throughout.

6. Proactivity

Proactivity can often be overlooked when choosing an agency, as you may think you have an idea of your business's needs. However, when working with specialists and experts, they take the time to understand how your customers work and what can keep them on your site longer and secure that purchase. An experienced agency will offer their suggestions and actively look for ways to improve your website without being overpowered by fads and trends, but influenced by timeless designs. 

A proactive web design agency will also keep you informed about new legislation and requirements for your website, whether relating to accessibility, data regulations or optimisation opportunities.

7. Support and Maintenance

It may seem premature to consider, but it is crucial to plan ahead to post-development support and maintenance when working with a web design agency. You may be looking for an initial redesign, and happy to manage things independently moving forward. However, if you’re looking for ongoing design support, find the right agency that can support your business with cohesive design or development to help maintain quality design across your site. 

Often, agencies provide SLA packages (Service Level Agreements) that allow you to find the right support for your requirements and budget. Alternatively, you may roll out specific design requirements over time in accordance with your budget, understanding these retainers can be important when selecting an agency to work with.

In summary, a web design agency's visual portfolio is important to help you determine whether the agency designs websites that stop you in your tracks and can keep customers on your website. Having clear and concise goals, requirements, and budgets from the offset will help from a more practical stance regarding whether the agency can accommodate your needs while also considering long-term goals for your business and the support the agency could provide.

Looking for an experienced Magento Web Design Agency?


Phoebe Dodd

Designer & Content Creator

Phoebe is a Designer and Content Creator who has worked in design since 2019 and has been with Develo since 2020. Phoebe’s favourite aspect of Content Creation is creating engaging graphics and videos that blend storytelling and marketing. Her biggest achievement from working at Develo is enforcing humanised content in a B2B business that engages with our target audience. Outside of work, she can be found competing in cross country and athletics, or walking her Romanian rescue dog, Lyla.

Develo is a leading Magento agency and eCommerce web development company based in Birmingham, in the UK, serving clients globally since 2010. Our Blog covers topics around the array of services our certified Magento Developers offer, including Hyvä themes development, Adobe Commerce, PunchOut catalogues, ERP integrations and much more. To speak to a friendly member of the team about your next project, contact us here.



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