Web and app design is a growing combination. As more people are using hand-held devices to access the Internet, it only makes sense to offer an app alongside website development. Unfortunately, not everyone grows both aspects equally.
This can and will cut into how much a developer makes per client. So, what can a designer do to optimize the experience of design?
1. Display a Portfolio
A portfolio is a visual display of a designer's talents. In many cases, it's what drives clients to use a specific developer in the first place. This is often done using imagery on web hosting platforms. Ask past clients for permission to use their projects to display in this portfolio. This is greatly beneficial especially if the client is a popular brand.
Some designers will have a clause in the contract allowing fair-use of projects, such as screen shots. Just make sure not to use anything that displays confidential information, like proprietary coding.
2. Blog About Experience
Blogging is more than just sharing life experiences with avid readers. It's a great platform to demonstrate expertise and knowledge. Whether it's writing about web design techniques or interesting coding elements in an app, it will all be relevant to express professionalism and experience.
A good example of this is by using management systems like WordPress to blog as well as show off a portfolio. Think of the website as a digital version of a real-life office space. It should be clean and inviting as it would be in the real world.
3. Engage Social Media
Social media is a powerful platform for engaging new potential clients. One of the best ways to use this is to upload images and screenshots of web and app design. Images receive far more "shares" and "likes" than posts with simple text.
Engaging on social media is more than just posting content, though. A designer needs to respond and interact with those who comment. It builds a connection to potential clients and makes the designer more memorable.
4. Put Effort Into the Brand
One failing a lot of new designers experience is a lack of branding. Everything from a logo to the interaction on social sites like Facebook contributes to how people view the business. Even freelancers need to dive into branding if they want to remain relevant and successful in today's world.
The branding needs to be clear regarding web design and app development. There can be no question regarding what the designer delivers.
5. Build Relationships
The customer experience is where most businesses, small and large, make the greatest impact. Clients are more likely to pay more money to a designer who delivers an excellent experience even if another developer's skills are better.
Because the online market is in constant growth for web designers and app developers, superior client interactions will reinforce the relationship. This often turns one-time buyers into loyal and frequent customers.
6. Use Clear Cut Contracts
One major problem many web designers and app developers come across is contracting issues. If the terminology and expectations between the designer and the client are unclear, it can cause a range of legal problems.
For example, does a designer have rights to graphics he or she makes for one project if the client uses them in another app later on? Many work-for-hire agreements state any asset created for the company is the company's property. Make sure contracts are fully understood by both parties.
7. Be Aware of Digital Assets
Some designers will take it upon themselves to use existing digital assets to finish projects for clients or themselves. However, not all assets can be used legally in such a way. In fact, failure to realize the difference between creative commons and attribution can result in litigation.
Digital assets can include anything from a website's logo to proprietary coding or graphics within an app. Never assume elements available on the Internet are for everyone to use. Make sure licensing is adhered to at all times.
8. Use the Right Tools for the Job
Being a successful designer for websites or apps often relies on the tools that are used. For instance, designers who want to be taken seriously would never use photo-editing software to create an eBook. This is because each development software has a different set of functions and is designed for a specific purpose.
.Sticking with outdated programming and design tools can also create problems for efficiency. In many regards, it's worth the extra money for upgrades as they often come with enhancements which improve functionality as well as productivity.
9. Never Be Afraid to Say, "No"
Designers don't need to accept every job that comes their way. This is a problem for many new developers as they try to make as much money as possible. Sometimes a task is either too unreasonable or is simply too difficult to achieve.
Time is money, and spending too much of it trying to make a site work or an app behave a specific way may simply be a waste. App and site developers also need to be comfortable in their own ethics when it comes to specific projects.
10. Continue to Grow
Always continue to develop skills and learn trends. For example, the web development strategies of 2000 would not do well today. It's vital that designers for apps and websites keep their thumbs on the pulse of current technology and programming practices.
Without spending the time to learn new techniques and skills, it's safe to assume the competition will be thankful. There is no such thing as "knowing enough" for continued success.
Diversity Strengthens Success
A diverse designer has potential to outlast much of his or her competition. For example, Microsoft is so diverse with its various holdings that a complete failure on one platform doesn't impact the business as a whole in a profound way. Offering web design and app development delivers two individual methods to make money while keeping both relevant on their own. Take steps to make sure each one is available to clients even if they only want one of them.