Category: Blog

Outsourcing – How to Make a Design Portfolio Stand Out

The design industry has been on a growth trajectory as more and more companies chose the outsourcing option as opposed to working with internal designers. This however does not mean that designers have easy pickings when it comes to securing jobs. It’s only those who manage to stand out who are reaping big from this growing industry.

In order for a designer to stand out, they need a good design portfolio which is essentially the tool for selling their services.  It’s through the portfolio that they reveal their abilities and expose their design thinking to potential clients. Therefore, in order to blow potential clients away, a designer’s portfolio must overshadow those of other competitors.

Here are a couple of tips on how to make a design portfolio stand out.

Ensure you focus on highlighting your strengths

The main challenge facing designers is that potential clients will always request to first see the kind of work you have done in the past before they can give you their design projects to handle. This disadvantages designers who are still new in the industry. There is a silver lining though. Design is a creative process therefore all you need to demonstrate in your portfolio is that you are better than everyone else. If you don’t have sufficient samples of work to show, just pick samples of your best work, however few they may be. All you need to demonstrate is your strengths in design.

Demonstrate that you are a problem solver

In order for your portfolio to stand out, it must demonstrate your problem solving skills. You must be aware that companies are looking to revamp their platforms so that they can address customer needs in a better way. In your portfolio, you must demonstrate to the client that you understand this through including your work that shows your ability to creatively connect with audiences and keep them engaged. This will ensure the client knows that you are the kind of person who puts a lot of thought into your design concepts and that its purpose driven.

Customize your portfolio based on the project you are applying for

A client simply wants to know whether you’re the right pick therefore, make this easy for them to figure out by customizing your portfolio based on what they are looking for. This simply means that you shouldn’t fill your portfolio with previous work you have done that is not relevant to the task at hand. Clients rarely study designer portfolios in detail, they will scheme through them. Ensure you include your work that demonstrates your strengths which are relevant to what the client is looking for. Avoid making your portfolio to present you as a jack of all trades.

Always keep in mind that design work is essentially a marketing job therefore your ability to market yourself through your portfolio will give the client confidence that you have the ability to market their company or brand.

4 Important Qualities of a Good Designer

In our previous article, we mentioned that before making the outsourcing decision, it’s a good idea to spend some time with the team of designers that will potentially be involved in your design project so that you get a feel of who they are. This is meant to give you an opportunity to see beyond their talent and try to gauge who they are personally. Personality plays a big role in design and will potentially determine whether the team will succeed or fail.

Here are 4 important qualities to look out for when trying to identify a good designer.

#1 They must be good communicators

Remember, part of the mandate of the design team will be to structure your content so that the story behind your brand can be told in an appealing way. This communication must be clear because it’s what will pull your customers in. If the designers can clearly articulate these ideas then it means they are good communicators. However, if you notice they are struggling to communicate, take it as a red flag.

#2 They must have a sense of curiosity

Good designers should be able to look beyond the surface, be more exploratory, and think outside the box. This can be summarized as creative curiosity and it’s what determines a designer’s level of creativity. When interacting with a team of designers prior to awarding them the job, you will get an opportunity to gauge whether they poses such a quality which will come in handy when they are engaged in your design project.

#3 They must have passion and drive

Design work is never a 9 to 5 job. Professionals in the creative industry will always need to work odd hours, and at times handle tricky workloads as they work towards beating the client’s deadline yet still produce the best work possible. This can only be achieved by a person who has passion and drive. The thing about passion and drive is that they can’t be faked. As you interact with a team of designers, if you are attentive, you can easily tell the difference between a passionate person and a person who’s in it just for the money.

#4 They must be open to criticism

One of the toughest challenges designers in the creative industry face is their ability to take in criticism. Before deciding on whether to give a designer a job, you must first establish their willingness to take in criticism. This is because you will be involved in every step of the design process and you will always voice your concerns when the concept isn’t really coming out the way you expect it to. If you are dealing with a bunch of designers who can’t take criticism, they are likely to get emotional and stall the project.

There are of course may other qualities to look out for in designers but these 4 are the most critical to ensure your design work goes on without any hitches. These are observable characteristics but they will require a bit of probing therefore do your homework.

This is How to Choose the Right Outsourcing Vendor

Before you make the decision about outsourcing your design work, there are a number of considerations that you have to make. You must be clear about what you want to achieve, and you must do your due diligence to ensure you get the right designers to help you achieve your goals. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a project only for it to fail.

Here are a couple of tips on how to choose the right outsourcing vendor.

You must be clear about what you want to achieve

The very first step before outsourcing design work is being crystal clear on what you want to achieve. This will include both the end result as well as other fringe benefits that come with outsourcing and traveling to luxury destinations with an exotic car rental from Your desired end result will guide you in determining the specific tasks you want to outsource, the skill set and experience you are looking for from the external designers. This is an internal process that has to be sorted out before you start engaging potential designers.

Verify the designers’ experience

Before deciding on a designer to outsource your work to, you must first find out their level of experience vis-à-vis your intended goals for the design project. Find out about other similar projects they have done, the clients they have worked with, their technical expertise, as well as the qualifications of their management team. Be sure to interact with the entire team before offering them a contract. Your instinct may at times need to come into play.

Check for references

It’s crucial to check for references before awarding any job to external designers and actually speak with their former clients to get an unbiased account on the vendor’s abilities. How they have delivered their work for their former clients will give you a better idea about whether they will be a good fit for you. It’s advisable to go beyond the references that they have stated. As you do your due diligence, try and find out for yourself their client list and talk to the client you feel has a business that is similar to yours as this is what will inform whether the designers will be a good fit for you.

Understand the designer’s organizational culture

In order to determine whether a design company will be a good fit for you, both your organizational cultures should be able to mesh with each other. The truth is your organizational culture and that of the design company will be different therefore your ability to work together will be determined by the ability of your two organizations to find points of intersection between your cultures.  Organizational culture will range from communication, to client management practices, and these can be handled very differently from one organization to the other. It’s therefore important for you to understand the designer’s organizational culture to see whether they’ll be a good fit.

There are of course other determinations to be made when you want to rent a Bentley in London and these will be influenced by the size of the project, amount of money involved, the nature of your product and many more. However, with the above information, you should be better placed to choose the right designers for your project.

5 Benefits of Outsourcing Your Design Work

When planning to engage in any form of design work there is usually one key decision that you have to make for your company. The key decision is whether to do the work internally or outsourcing it to external designers. This is a decision that has to be carefully thought out because a number of factors have to come into play, top of the list being a cost benefit analysis. If your decision to outsource is the right one, you may end up reaping huge rewards.

Let’s take a look at 5 benefits of outsourcing your design work.

#1 Outsourcing may end up saving you money

The major benefit about outsourcing is that in most cases it will be a onetime expense. You contract designers for the duration of the work and once they are through, that’s it. No more money is spent on them. It’s a cost saving because if you had a full time employee responsible for your design work, you’d have to put them on a salary including all the employment benefits, in addition to the equipment and software, and these can be expensive for your company.

 #2 Outsourcing will save you time

When you outsource work to designers, they know that the contract is time bound hence they will work quickly to ensure the job is complete within the agreed time. The design industry is based on speed and efficiency in execution. Truth is, if you get a good design company, they are likely to get the job done in at least half the time it would take you to do the work internally.

#3 Outsourcing enables you to get a fresh perspective

When you work with a company or a brand for so long, there is a tendency to develop tunnel vision whereby you just develop one perspective and can’t see outside of it mostly because of the biases you will have formed over time. Outsourcing is usually the solution to this. External designers come with minimal biases thereby enabling them to have a fresh perspective on things. The benefit to this is that they will be able to develop much better concepts that will benefit your brand or company.

#4 Outsourcing increases the chances of success

When working with external designers, their interests will often align to your interests. You want your brand or company to stand out to increase your market share, and they want your brand or company to stand out so that you can give them a good recommendation to help them secure their next client. This therefore means all parties are motivated to ensure a win-win result hence increasing the chances of a successful project.

#5 Outsourcing frees you to focus on other important things

The design process can be time consuming and this may take your attention from other important company business. However, when you outsource the job to external designers, it will free you to focus on other important areas of your business because you will have less worries about the design work.

Outsourcing to designers is indeed very beneficial. It’s however very important to ensure that you settle on a reputable design company because not every designer is the same.

These are The Reasons your Website is not Getting Traffic

One of the reasons many companies make the decision to outsource design work, especially web design, is simply because they feel the task is too big to do internally. The company has had a website in place for years but it doesn’t seem to be getting any traffic. It’s however important to know why your website is not getting traffic before you go for external designers to revamp your website. Some of the reasons could be simple things you can just do on your own.

Here are a couple of reasons why your website is not getting traffic.

Your content may not actually be good

Your customers will only go to your website if it has content that is of value to them. For instance, if you are selling products or services, it will be important for your website to clearly demonstrate the value proposition of these products or services so that a customer can evaluate them against their needs. Make it a point to go through your website’s content while putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and see whether it would influence your decision making.

Your website may not be user friendly


When customers come to your website, in most cases they already have in mind what they are looking for and they hope your website will give them some level of convenience through offering a good user experience. However, when a customer has a difficult time navigating through your website therefore taking too long to get what they want, chances are they will not return or recommend your website to anyone.

Your website may be too slow

Your customers are busy people and the fact that they are on your website means they have taken time out of their busy schedules. Therefore, when they are on your website and your pages are taking too long to load, making your customers spend additional time that they don’t have, you can be guaranteed they will neither return nor recommend your website to anyone. It’s always important for you to compare your website with that of the competition so that you can tell whether your website speed is at par.

Your website may not be mobile friendly

Because many people are living on the go today, your customers will always want the convenience of being able to access your website through their mobile devices. However, when your website is not properly optimized for mobile devices therefore not giving your customers a good experience, it will dissuade them from accessing your website through their mobile devices hence you will miss out on this traffic. No website can survive by just appealing to customers with desktop computers.

You may not have done sufficient SEO

You must realize that your website is competing for the attention of audiences with millions of other websites in the few popular search engines therefore you need to have a good SEO plan to ensure that your website stands out. If you’re not getting website traffic it’s because your SEO is not sufficient.

If you can figure out how to do most of these internally, it will save you from spending money outsourcing this work. However, if you don’t have internal competencies then by all means, outsource.

4 Disadvantages of Outsourcing Your Design Work

In our previous post, we looked at the benefits of outsourcing design work to external designers. It’s however important for us to also highlight that outsourcing is usually not a bed of roses as it sounds, and can cause a number of problems to your company. It’s therefore important for you to weigh the pros and cons before you make the decision on whether to outsource.

Let’s take a look at 4 disadvantages of outsourcing your design work.

#1 Outsourcing may have a negative effect on the team’s morale

When making the decision to outsource design work especially if you have staff members who feel they are capable of doing that work, may lead to a drop in morale because the staff will feel like you don’t value their expertise. This will therefore ensure a lack of buy-in by your internal team and this may negatively impact the success of the project because they will not be committed offering the external designers sufficient assistance. In as much as you outsource, both the external and internal teams need to work together for a project to be a success.

#2 Cultural barriers may affect the project

It’s no secret that different companies have different cultural norms that they abide by. Therefore, when making the decision to outsource there is always a possibility that the cultural differences between your company and the external design company are complete extremes. This might lead to barriers that will make it difficult between the external and internal teams to work well together and this may have a negative effect on the project.

#3 Outsourcing may lead to unmet expectations

One of the major problems with outsourcing is that when you as a client turn to external designers to handle your work, you have an idea of what you want your end product to look like, but you can’t put it into words. You then rely on the designers to produce the work exactly the way to see it in your mind. In most cases however, this will not happen and you may end up feeling as though the service provider did not meet your expectations. It may not be that the designer did not actually meet your expectation but rather the problem might be that you had unrealistic expectations.

#4 Outsourcing may expose your intellectual property to risk

When outsourcing design work to an external company, you will often need to give them access to proprietary company information such as business plans, which is your intellectual property, in order to enable them have sufficient knowledge of your company to aid the design process. This however may end up putting your business at risk because you don’t have guarantees that these designers will not share the information with your competition.

It’s important to note that with these disadvantages, there are always safeguards that you can put in place as a mitigation measure. Ultimately, you have to put plenty of thought into how you will secure buy in from your internal team and other stakeholders as well as chose the right and reputable external design company to ensure that your project becomes a success.