The Good, the Bad and the Educated
Dec 03, 2018
Let’s talk about the digital market here in Dubai. More specifically, how to be a perfectly educated client for digital agencies. I would say that 'Digital' here in the market is relatively new, comparing to other countries, but with huge potential for growth. If you pay close attention you can notice that the government of Dubai puts in a lot of effort to attract innovative companies and people. It’s how they want to present the UAE to the rest of the world — modern and progressive, shining in lights of technology.
I’ve seen the same process of evolution in other markets, that meanwhile have already matured. There were hundreds of small studios which made fun and cool websites, but didn't offer a real service, customer-, business- or user-experience. It was not about design in its true meaning. However time, evolution and of course competition washed out these type of companies, leaving the ones left behind, to be more modern and progressive.
One of the concrete reasons why this evolution found place — clients became more educated, they accumulated experience, learned what’s good and what’s bad (and it was not for free) — they paid for all that experience (yeah, for business it’s a good driver to learn and remember something). Also, it’s not just an internal process, you should look outside — what is happening in other places, what are well crafted, convenient or successful websites to you? Have a look at the widely known and mature companies who have a big experience in digital market. As a client, you can speed up this process at least for your own company.
Before you will decide on your service provider (and the service you're looking for), you should know the exact reasons why you need it, how to measure it, how it will help your business. Outline the main goals, set the markers that will indicate it. These elements are the foundation, the starting point, and it’s necessary to know. Right, it’s also the job of agencies to help you understand what you need for your business. But before you hire them you should look around for several agencies, you should explore what their approach is and how they've improved businesses of previous clients. Were they really able to deliver and achieve that goal, what’s value they can add. How did they come to their solutions and why did they.
A very common case is when management decides to update their website or app, but just “because it’s old”. For certain types of companies it’s really needed to keep their brand fresh, but other companies do it without a reason, and on the finish line there's even a chance they've gotten worse service that they had previously.
Next step is involving. Try to show and explain what’s your business all about, how it works, your ideas about how to make it better or what are the current problems. Just communicate. Be together and involved during the whole process, try to sort out what’s happening and why. It will help you to be more familiar with the digital part of your business and of course to become an even better educated client.
Another common aspect in project communication is the 'email badminton':
— Hi, pls fix it → hello, we fixed it, check it pls → please also shift this to twenty pixels → done — thanks.
It would help both parties to explain what really bothers you. Maybe you feel that your visitors won’t notice a button or it's non-consistent with your brand.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something's not clear to you, I would say — always ask questions, be sure that you know why we do this and that.
Think of all the content before you will start with design, forget about dummy elements and text, it’s the most essential part of your communication, it should deliver your message to the your future website visitors/ app users. The whole world is built on words, keep it in mind and pay particular attention to this aspect.
In case you don’t have any content, no problem, now you know that you have to create it or hire people who will help you with that task.
Just try to go deeper with regards to the details of your project and don’t expect that a high price or a big budget for the project is a guarantee to get quality service. Be sure that you've picked the right team. Don’t be shy to ask them why they are a fit for you, and ask them to prove it. Explore it by yourself and become the perfectly educated client.