Website designing in India - why India is such an excellent destination for website design.

Over the last few years India has become a premier outsourcing destination for western developed nations and that is common knowledge. What is lesser know is that India is also quickly becoming a website design destination as well. The same cost advantage, dedicated people and good English skills which contribute to other outsourcing fields is also working in India's favor in website designing.

Website design is such a field that it cannot simply be done by the numbers; it's a function of marketing and needs creativity and understanding of business.

It's much more than data entry or answering a phone with a prepared script. It requires the designer to understand the clients business and then generate a strategy and design which will sell online. This requires the key skills of good command over English (or any other language for that matter), good technical expertise in various web design software and a creative mind. India has tons of such people who have now matured and are capable of taking on ever increasingly complex web engagements.

Cost arbitrage has always been India's strong point

Although this which has eroded somewhat in the last few years, it still remains a significant advantage. Web designers here are willing to work at quite attractive (from the customer's point of view) rates. If the client is lucky they might just get a top class designer at throw away prices. However the bulk of the designers are average and charge accordingly.

Creativity remains a contentious issue when it comes to outsourcing website work to India.

Will the Indian web designer be able to grasp the subtlety and outlook of the more sophisticated western client? I have personally seen (although was not part of) lots of disputes between overseas clients and Indian web designers where there is total miscommunication due to cultural differences. With the advent of tons of foreign channels, magazines and of course the ubiquitous internet Indian web designers are soaking in the western culture and values and are now operating at the same wavelength as their clients.

Day by day Indian web designers are able to deliver more creative work suited to their western client's tastes.

Challenges remain - the perception of India as a low cost destination can be a double edged sword for Indian web designers. Clients will hesitate while giving the more important and substantial projects. But this is being overcome by some very good and proactive networking by Indian web designers as they are slowly building up the client's confidence in them by delivering high quality work on time and at good cost. Perceptions will change but it will take time.

Overseas clients must however be wary

There are a lot of shady characters masquerading as web designers. Many of them are hosting companies pretending to be web design but who have no talented people in their staff or themselves outsource to others. Such bogus web designers take foreign clients for a ride, holding up their work for months on end and eventually leaving the client frustrated and angry. The scene is littered with thousands of such incomplete projects. However thanks to dynamics of evolution many such players are leaving or have left the market. This has left behind a majority of serious and dedicated web designers in India.

A check-list for hiring web designers in India:

  • Ensure the portfolio they display is indeed their own and not someone else's.
  • Do not be fooled by client logos on their sites. Many are bogus and have never worked with them.
  • If the costing is too good to be true, it probably is. Beware of extremely low costs quoted. India is relatively cheaper but not too much either. You throw peanuts you get monkeys.
  • Always check credentials and references even if this means making a few international calls.
  • Demand and enforce a strict timetable of deliverables. Penalize within reason any delays or sidetracking from the schedule. Many folks in India tend to take it easy (might be the sultry weather). Certain firmness is very necessary when dealing with Indian web designers. I personally appreciate a client who helps me stick to a deadline and demands the best from me.
  • Ensure that the work will be done in the web designers office and expressly forbid him from outsourcing to someone else. There is no point outsourcing to someone who outsources to someone else. It makes a great game of Chinese whispers and nothing gets done. Of course the exception to this would be for very niche services like voice recording etc. which the web designer might not be equipped to handle. But the bulk of the work must be down in-house.

Overall I would highly recommend India as a great destination for website design, not because I am a part of it, but also there are genuine advantages which the client will not get anywhere else in the world.

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