Over the last five years, poker websites (and websites in general) have evolved quite a bit, and now feature more sophisticated designs and templates more often. Since most poker webmasters are not designers themselves, building a website usually requires that you get in touch with a graphic designer to build the “look” of your site. This article is going to explain how to work effectively with your graphic designer to make sure there are no miscommunications, that you get a good price, and that you end up with the product that YOU want.
The biggest problems I’ve had with designers all came from miscommunications. To avoid these problems, I recommend that you outline the entire job/payment/details BEFORE you start working with any designer. Here are a few items I would make sure to discuss with the designer before we started (especially if the designer was someone I hadn’t worked with before):
The price is the topic that usually causes the most problems if it isn’t determined before hand. Before you get started with the designer you should determine an exact price for the project, and also determine exactly what you will get for that price.
For example, if you are having your designer code you a little table that will be used as a “top-list” and includes mini graphics for each poker room’s logo, make sure that he knows you expect to receive mini graphics for every site you plan to promote. Same goes for any USA/non-USA graphics, country flags, additional graphics for sub-pages that weren’t discussed up front, and any other potential “surprises”. If you can agree on a list of work for a fixed price there will be less chance of a dispute down the road.
Make sure you are clear with the designer about who will get the template coded (if you are expecting a .php file but receive a .psd instead, that is an extra step and more money you have to spend before having a working template).
Work out a payment schedule. With my current designer I send all the money up front because we’ve worked together for a while and he’s done countless jobs for me. However, if I were working with a new designer I would prefer to send only a portion up front with the rest of the money being sent upon completion.
Make sure you discuss future edits with your designer. For example, if you change your room rankings down the road and need a few new logos. Most designers don’t have a problem sending a few small items over for free, especially if you’re a frequent customer, but if he’s going to charge you extra it’s good to know.
Get the Design YOU Want
There are a lot of super talented designers out there who are insanely creative, but when it comes down to it sometimes you need to rein in the ropes. This is your site, and no matter how many cool graphics and features he wants to add on, you need to make sure the site primarily accomplishes your goals (which should be to load fast, look clean, and convert well).
I’ve found that you can avoid a lot of these problems by sending your designer a simple Paint image that is a basic outline of the template, and then have him make it look good. This will put a little bit of restraint on him and make sure there is no WTF? moment when you receive the first version of the design.