The first time I worked on a website redesign, it was not pretty. Not the design of the site but the process. I had copy and pictures and figured we’d need to review layouts. So the button that leads to the donation page should be — wait. Who is making sure the donation page will work and be connected to all the right accounts after we change web hosts? Does the vendor do this? Will the project still be on time? What on earth is a merchant account or payment processor and why do we need two?!
To this day, I remember is what it felt like to ask a question, anticipate getting some super expensive or horribly complicated answer, and get laughed at by the web developer (good times).
Thankfully, I’ve worked with many more freelance developers (graphic designers, printers, consultants) who listened to my fumbling questions and said, “I hear that you’re concerned about or interested in X, and I can answer that, but I think the question you really want to be asking is Z.”
These were professionals who asked me questions to understand the context within which my organization was working, dug deeper into what success looked like, and held up a mirror to help us see our blind spots — rather than trying to skate by in them.
Tip #1 Own what you know. Also, own what you don’t know.
You don’t need to know anything to ask someone, “What else should I be thinking about? What have I missed? What questions would you have that I have not asked?”