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25 November 2010

Top Tips

10 Questions You Should Ask a Web Designer Before you Hire Them

If you've not been born with the design gene yourself, it's impossible to know which criteria are most relevant in selecting a top web designer.

So here are a few to get you started. And at the very least, it will alert whoever's under the spotlight that you're not someone who can have the wool pulled over their eyes.

  1. How much of your HTML do you write by hand?

    All of it, because if you don't, programs have a tendency to get "bloated" with unwanted extra code. This slows everything down, among other things.

  2. Can you write table-less XHTML? Do you validate your code?

    Absolutely. Tables have a particular use in web development and should not be used for other things. It can cause confusion. Anyone who uses tables in this way has a poor knowledge of HTML. It limits your lay-out and hinders production.

  3. Name a few sites you particularly like and say why.

    Alistapart.com It's a designer's paradise and problem-solver, packed with good practices on web design and HTML. Whenever I want to find out a good, new way of doing something, I generally find the answer here.

  4. What different-sized websites have you worked on?

    You need to see that they are as motivated by a ten-pager as they are by a full-blown, e-commerce spectacular. Personally, I've worked on single landing pages, all the way up to 75-pagers and brochure sites.

  5. What is your favourite development language and why?

    PHP (hypertext pre-processor) It's an open source and an interactive community of developers.

  6. What do the following stand for? HTML; CSS; WYSIWYG?

    Hyper Text Mark-up Language; Cascading Style Sheets; What You See Is What You Get

  7. What is your preferred web browser and why?

    Mozilla Firefox. It may not be quite as fast as Safari, but has a wealth of add-ons and plug-ins. You can customise it and make it completely your own.

  8. What problems can be created by people viewing a site in a different web browser to the one it was designed in? What steps would you take to rectify this problem?

    Different browsers have different systems of interpretation. The only way to ensure that a website looks consistent across different browsers is to check against all of them. Test, test and test again! Whenever I'm working on a site, I will often have several different desktops and laptops up and running so I can keep a constant check on how each change I make displays.

  9. Do you read any blogs or professional web designer sites?

    I'm sticking to my original answer - it's alistapart.com all the way.

  10. What latest technology or technique are you currently researching to improve your design knowledge?

    Jquery - a Javascript framework that makes things easier, more flexible, and more user-friendly than, say, Flash.

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