When you’re going to design something, especially a website, you need to be sure to catch your client’s idea. This will save you a lot of time and misunderstandings. That’s why I’ve made this list of 7 questions to ask a client before building a website. This will help you have information about your client’s company.
If you want to understand what your client wants, you need to ask them proper questions. Many of the problems we have as designers happen because of a failure in the investigation process. We have to be sure about what our clients want, and the only way to do it is by asking them.
Asking the right questions won’t guarantee you’ll get the answer you’re looking for. Sometimes, the clients aren’t sure about what they want. It’s your job as a designer to guided your clients with the right questions through their ideas and find out what they really want from the end product.
When you’re going through the questionnaire and asking things, which will help you planing your web design, you need to keep in mind that not everyone has the knowledge of how the internet works. So, be prepared you’ll get back some ”complicated” answers.
When you find yourself a situation like this, you will need to make design or technical decisions on your own. You can never assume that your clients are knowledgeable about everything or they are totally clear about what they really want.
Before initiating any website design is a good idea to do a meeting with your clients. This will give you the perfect opportunity to do all the questions, and know more about them and their company. Having a meeting with a client without exiting website is a must!
Now that you have an idea of what to expect when you’re asking your questions, and without anything left to add, here are the 7 Questions To Ask A Client Before Building a Website:
1. What Does Your Business Do?
This is one of the most important questions you can ask. Knowing exactly what your client’s company does will make your work way easier when you’re making a website design. Sometimes this question can be pretty obvious, for example, when you work for a pet store or a library.
In other occasions, asking this question will be extremely necessary. Let’s be honest, sometimes you don’t have a clue of what some companies do. It’s pretty important knowing all the aspects of the company, like how long they have been in the market, its values and the colors they use.
Remember the website needs to fit in with the entire brand and it needs to send the right message. Without knowing about the brand you’re designing a website for, will resolve in wrong end product.
So be sure you are getting all the right information about the company in the beginning of design process, which will save you a feature headache.
2. Why Do You Want A Website?
Every website must have a defined purpose that helps company reaching the end goal. Some clients want a website for online sales. Other companies just want it to make reservations or find the contacts for them.
You always have to mind that every website is unique and has special needs, so copy-pasting the same design across all the companies you’re working for, won’t do much good.
Almost every client has in mind how their website should look, even the ones that don’t have a determined purpose for it. Let’s be honest, many clients aren’t sure why they want a website, and it’s your job to help them.
If the main goal of the website isn’t obvious, try putting yourself in the shoes of the end website user and what they want from the specific web page.
When you ask this question, you must determine what are the functions they want to implement on the website. This means, if they want a social media interaction, a chat, a shopping cart, or anything else.
3. Who Is Your Target Audience?
Before designing anything, you need to know who the website is directed to. You need to design focused on those people.
You need to know target audience as much as possible through your client. You can ask something like “if you could mix all your costumers in just one person, how would you describe them?”
Sometimes designers are focused just on the demographic characters like age, sex, instruction level, occupation or marital status. You need to focus on the psychographic ones too, like hobbies, lifestyle, values, and online behaviours.
Everyone clicks on the specific website because they want to solve a problem they are having. Designers must identify that problem and offer a possible solution through the website.
4. What Are Some Websites You Like?
Ok, at this point maybe you’re thinking “I’m the designer; I know what will look great and what will not”. This can be true, but remember, everyone likes different things.
Having an idea of what your clients like will help you a lot. Pay attention if there is a pattern of design style or functions on the websites they are fond of, and be sure you include it in you design as well.
Also you should examine their competitors, because you will see what are strengths and weaknesses, which will help you to create a better website. The end goal of every website you are designing is that your client’s company stands out from their competitors.
In addition to the question what are the websites they like, don’t forget to ask them : What are some websites you don’t like?
5. Do You Have A Domain?
This can seem like a trivial question, but it’s pretty important. You can’t change the domain halfway through. If the client already has a domain and it’s easy to remember, the job is done.
If that’s not the case, you should help your client finding out the perfect domain name before starting with anything else. As you know, the domains with specific keywords aren’t as available as they were before.
A great domain name must be short, easy to remember, and it has to use the keywords properly.
6. How Are You Going To Promote The Website?
When you design a website you want it to be successful a successful one. Successful site means it serves its purpose – that can be selling end product, or just transmits the massage that is important to your client.
Remember, a successful site by itself means that you did a great job, and this is the best marketing campaign for any designer.
If your client is an expert in internet marketing, and has a clear promotional plan your work will get even a bigger exposure, which will help you getting even more new clients.
But, if they don’t have any idea about how to promote it, this question may help you land another job with the same client. You can offer them an upsell in form of an online campaign in social media and SEO.
So, asking this can increase your reputation as a designer and will increase your monetary gain with this job.
Finally, you must know the deadline of the project. This is pretty important to organize and plan everything before that date.
Make it clear to your client that web page design is a creative process, which means it can take more time to create one than the specific date you were given.
To avoid any inconvenience and make your job a lot less stressful, you need to clarify this from the beginning. Many of them don’t have a specific date in mind, but if they are launch a product or service they will want their website live on the exact day.
Be sure you make them know, that any given comments from their side, regarding the design will prolong the deadline as well.
Final Thoughts: 7 Questions To Ask A Client Before Building A Website
With these questions in mind will make your website design processes a lot easier. They are for general terms, so you can add or remove them as many as you want.
The important thing here is to obtain all the necessary information before starting the design to avoid making any feature mistakes.