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Patterns, colors, and relevant questions for website design

Our translation agency (based in UK subsidiary in China and the main work force in China, offering  English-Chinese translation services) will ask a professional website designer to make a website for us. We have no previous experience of setting up a website ourselves, so we wonder about the following topics that relates to this first step in the website construction, that of choosing and deciding the right design and structure for the whole site:

1. Where can we find models in large numbers for website designs to choose from, each model containing different kinds of patterns and colors? We should be able to choose the model for website design that exactly represents our company's ideas, concepts, and values.  

2. What are the relevant questions to ask in order to choose the right website design for us and our type of business? It's very important that the website design (patterns and colors) reflects our company's ideas, concepts, and values. Are there any lists or similar available  online with relevant questions for website designing? And how to relate the results of these answers to the right website design (patterns and colors)?  For instance, we want to communicate that we are a small, dynamic team that offer low rates for our services together with best quality. Are there any websites where we can decide on these relations between our company profile (ideas, concepts, values) and patterns and colors (website overall design and structure)?

3. Should we have a basic design and pattern that is "transparent" (that is prevalent) on all of our individual webpages, and also specific, somewhat varied designs and patterns for each of or individual website pages? Each of these somewhat individual and specific pattern and specific colors should correspond to the function of each individual website page, and at the same time also contain the basic overall pattern and colors that can be "transparent" and visible on all of the website pages.
1 Solution
Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
Hi hermesalpha,

If you are going to hire a true professional designer or design firm, then you don't need to worry about your points 1 and 2 above.  Good designers will talk to you about your preferences and business and present several mockups of sites for your review.  As you talk to the design team and give feedback on what they present, each side will move closer to a site design that works.

If you go into meetings with designers with templates already picked out and lots of limitations in place, the designers will not give you their best effort.  Instead, they will design to the specifications you give them and you may miss out on their expertise.

To put it another way, keep an open mind and let the professionals you hire do their work freely with only the broadest requirements (colors, logos, message to get across).  

For #3, this is really a personal design decision for you.  Sites can work both ways (static template or subtemplates for each topic area) and I would tell the designers you would like to see mockups for both.  Pick the one that you feel works best.  There is no hard and fast rule for this.

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