Even though creating your own website is now possible (and simpler than ever with Wix) there are times when someone would rather hire a pro to do it for them. This is where the Wix Arena comes in. It’s a magical place filled with tons of talented designers that are all waiting to make your dream website a reality. Derrick Spearman of Citisonship Design is one of the talented pros who does his part to make the web a little more beautiful each day. We grilled him with questions so that he can share his craft as well as some tips on how to get the most out of a partnership with a Wix Pro designer.
Here’s what our designer of the month had to say:
What’s the first step you take when creating a website?
When creating a new website I try to gather as much information from my client as possible. After I feel confident that I understand what my client wants, I’ll then sketch it in Photoshop to include the color scheme, layout, site map and graphic design elements.
Where do you find your design inspiration?
Design inspiration comes to me from many different methods and resources. One thing I especially like to do is play music that sets the mood and matches the type of website I’m designing. For instance, if I’m designing a site that’s going for an elegant and clean aesthetic, I might listen to classical. Or, if I’m designing a jazz band website I’ll throw on my favorite jazz bands. I’m also constantly inspired by the work of many of my creative designer friends – they’re always stretching my imagination and creativity to new heights and I find myself doing something I might not have considered trying. I am always into trying new things and expanding my design horizons.
What’s the best web design tip you can share with our users?
The best web design tip I think can benefit people most is to try to see the end result first, and keep it in mind even when starting from scratch. This will keep your focus on the final product. I’m also a big advocate of keeping things clean and easy to navigate. And of course, it’s always smart to think of what you like to see when you visit someone else’s website- pay special attention to what grabs your attention and what makes you want to leave their website.
What’s the most common design mistake you see in web design that you’d like to eliminate?
Way too much text and information on the home page along with not expressing clearly what it is you do as a business or organization. A lot of people can be overwhelmed when they see so much information – they simply don’t know where to start. The design should be simple and allow people to find information easily and without having to read a whole page of text or guess to what it is you do.
What’s your tip for keeping a website looking fresh without having to redesign the site?
I like to go with a home page web banner that you can change constantly to advertise new items, events etc. I also recommend using social media feeds and blogs, these are always (or should be) changing and updated almost daily or weekly. You can also change the color scheme easily to fit the season or a special occasion such as holidays.
Why do you like using Wix?
Wix provides a great platform for my clients to easily manage and maintain their site themselves, which saves them lots of money. I also like using Wix because they offer so many apps and resources to help in the design process. Last but not least, Wix is always expanding and improving on every area of their service – a huge plus in my book.
What’s your favourite Wix web App of the moment and why?
Wow this one is hard – I like so many! I would have to go with the list builder and the huge assortment of galleries. The list builder provides an easy way to list products, team members, news and more in a nice, clean way that can be updated easily. I love the galleries because there are so many to choose from that I never feel fenced in design-wise. They do a terrific job of beautifully displaying banners, photos and more.
What’s your favourite Wix website that you designed and why?
It’s tough to pick just one, but my favorite Wix website I’ve designed would be one I did for a media company. I love the layout and function of the home page.
What’s your biggest challenge in working with clients and how do you overcome it?
The challenge usually presents itself when a client doesn’t know how to explain what they want or they’re just not sure where to start. This can be tricky, but it’s also usually the reason I’m hired: to come in and make something come to be. When this is the case I ask them if they can provide me with some websites that they like and give me as many reasons as to why they like them (ex: colors, layout, functions etc.). This helps me see what they want in their own site, instead of trying to guess. If needed, I also provide a checklist of things for my clients to consider that will help with the overall function and needs of their website.