If you’re lucky enough to have your own in-house website team you might assume that using an external web design agency is like bringing a polar bear to a picnic: it’s costly, unnecessary and introduces a whole lot of hassle. Undoubtedly there is potential for that. But there are also clear benefits to working with an external agency.
A great website needs three skill sets in force: technical, design and content. Most in-house teams comprise technical support and content management – but there is no specialist focus on design after the initial concept. This means that over time small updates and adjustments made by your techie and your marketing manager slowly degrade the integrity of the original design.
If you photocopied your face, the paper copy would look virtually identical to the flesh original. But if you photocopied the copy, and then photocopied that copy and so on, after a while the copy would not look sharp or clean. It’s the same with design – if it’s not led by a design expert you end up with the equivalent of a fuzzy face photocopy.
A company’s brand can grow in value to the point that it’s worth more than the physical assets of the company, say like Google or Coca Cola. Regardless of the size of your organisation your brand is extremely valuable and should be protected at all times – it’s like the Queen in a game of chess, or a bee hive. Protecting and preserving the value of your brand means maintaining consistency at all times, which includes the design on your website.
Using a design agency gives you access to the skills of a specialist who does design work full-time, has broad experience of various clients and is incentivised to stay abreast of industry developments and technology. In other words, you can connect with design best practice.
An external party can also help to keep your organisation dynamic and stimulated by bringing in new ideas, different perspectives, unblinkered eyes and fresh thinking. They might be able to identify and evaluate problems and opportunities that you are just too close to see or resolve by yourselves or instil objectivity and discipline to keep you on track.