5 Ways to Thin the Herd When Hiring a Web Development Professional
When you decide to undertake a web development project and you send out a request for proposals (RFP) to potential candidates, chances are that you will be inundated with a sea of professionals vying to be hired to work on your project. How do you know which developer is the best choice for the job? When hiring a web developer, there are certain things you need to look for in order to ensure that you select the professional who will best serve your needs. Here are 5 qualities you should always seek in any development professional you may be considering for your website project.
1. Is He or She Service Oriented?
Oftentimes technology professionals, including web developers, aren’t known for their charisma or their ability to relate to or play well with others. The personality types that you find in this profession are often very introverted and they have a desire to get to the point quickly and address the job at hand rather than focus on customer service. This can cause a severe lack in what many would constitute an acceptable level of customer service.
If you are okay with working with someone who is not exactly friendly and outgoing, but is great at what they do in regards to web development, then you can overlook their personality quirks and the perceived lack of service. If, however, your desire is to work with someone who you can communicate easily with, relate to, and someone who is on the ball in terms of customer satisfaction, then you need to make sure the developer that you hire has as much of a dedication to customer service as they do a passion for developing websites.
2. Ensure They Put Function First
Function before form… It is a mantra you must adopt when you are having a website developed. Yes, your website needs to look amazing. However, no matter how good your site looks, it also needs to function seamlessly if you want to convert visitors into sales and you want your website to thrive. A site that looks great but doesn’t work properly only frustrates visitors and won’t drive the results you need to meet your business’s goals and objectives. Some developers focus too much on the design of a site, not paying close attention to how well the site loads or how the pages function. This will eventually cause countless future headaches when messy code results in nightmares as errors need to be fixed down the road. Be sure the developer that you hire understands that function is just as important, if not more so, than form.
3. Ask If They Know Nielson’s Principles of Usability
A great way to thin the herd of potential developers is to ask each developer you are considering if he or she is familiar with Jakob Nielson’s principles of usability. If they do not know what you are talking about, look elsewhere for your development needs. When it comes to your website’s success, usability is key. If the developer you hire is not familiar with the usability standards of Jakob Nielson, which have very solid research to back them up, then they are not going to be able to provide you with the level of usability that your site needs in order to succeed. Getting visitors to your site is one thing. Keeping them there and getting them to come back is something else entirely and usability plays a key role in this.
4. Will You Be Included in the Web Development Process?
When interviewing potential candidates, ask them how they will keep you involved and included in the development process. Of course your participation will vary depending on your level of development knowledge, but you should always be kept appraised of the project’s progress and be involved enough to ensure that you get everything you want from the project. Some developers exclude clients from the process altogether. When this happens you don’t know what you’re getting until the work has been completed. This is not a good way to manage and effective marketing project. Choose developers that are willing to include you in the process, making sure your ideas are implemented and that you are kept appraised as to the progress of the project.
5. Look for a Developer Who Knows Your Industry
When it comes to a good advertising agency or marketing company, you may think that it isn’t important for the developer to know your industry as long as he or she knows his job and how to do it. That is not necessarily the case. When launching a web development project, it is best to work with a developer who is familiar, at least somewhat, with your specific industry. Since many industries have special requirements that must be included in the design of a site, working with a developer who understands these requirements can prevent headaches down the road. In addition, someone who is familiar with your industry may be able to use his or her experience to give you fresh concepts and ideas for your site that you may have overlooked or had not thought of.
Picking the Best of the Best
Hiring a professional for a web development project is never a walk in the park. There are many candidates to choose from and deciding which one is right for your job will take a lot of time and a lot of research. There are many questions that must be asked and quite a few things to look into before a decision can be made, and some of these questions have nothing to do with the technology the developer knows or the skill set that he or she possesses. Always keep the above five factors in mind when hiring a developer for your web development project in order to ensure that you hire a professional who won’t just get the job done right, but who will ensure that the project runs smoothly from start to finish. Doing so will ensure that you feel secure throughout the web development process and that your thoughts and ideas are heard, considered, and implemented in the development of your site.