Yes I am aware of the fact that this is a very commonly answered question on the internet these days and I am sure you will find tons of experts with their opinions and advice. So then why am I taking this up? Have I run short of topics? Well no, I have definitely not. The main purpose for writing down this post is to give those designers a sense of direction that have their head buzzing with tons of ideas and creative ambitions but they get carried away easily and end up delivering content that the client never asked for. This is the most frightening position for any designer and this is one road no web designing company wants to walk on.
Remember, Time Is Money. So spend it well.
Now the question is, how do we do that? How can we turn art into money? What would result in our client bringing us more business?
If you want to wow your client, you need to put yourself in their shoes and understand their motivation, strengths, objectives and budget, as well as their target audience, marketing tactics and lead generation strategies right from the beginning. We believe in putting our customer ahead of anyone else. I am sure you do too.
So I here have a list of 21 questions that any web design company should ask their clients before they start with their project. There is nothing more painful than having your designs turned down, maybe, because you overlooked some tiny details.
Do you have a website?
The first thing that you need to ask your client is if they already have a website built. This is an important part of the process because as a web design company you need to know how much work you need to put into your client’s site.
For businesses with established sites, you know that you have an existing structure that can be modified. It is also important to know if your client has a website because if they do, you can ask them questions like:
1. So, what is the purpose of your current website?
2. Are there any aspects of your current website that you love?
3. Are there any aspects of your current website that you hate?
4. Is there anything on the current website that needs to be removed entirely?
5. Is there anything on the current website that must absolutely stay?
6. Is your website a good representation of your business?
In a nutshell, you want to learn about your client and his expectations. You need to make sure that your client is blown away with the new website and it can help them create a site that proves to be a boon for their business.
Why do you need a website?
Client’s often come with a specific design or dream of a site in mind but when it comes to explaining what they have visualized, they fall short. They might want a new website to keep at pace with the changing trends in the society or maybe because of some serious competition from other competitor brands. The reason could be any but your job as a designer is to dig deeper and give structure to what your client has visualized.
Asking the following questions may help you get a better understanding of your client’s real motivations and suggest solutions that will work best for them.
7. Why do you want a new website?
8. Do you have a proposed sitemap prepared?
9. In an ideal world, what do you want your website to become?
10. What are your specific goals for your new website that will help indicate if your investment is profitable?
11. Is there anything that you would like to have included in the new website that you lack currently?
12. At the end of this project, how do you qualify it as a success?
What is your business about?
To create the best website for your clients you need to fully understand their business. After all you need to know exactly what your client does before you start work on their site, don’t you?
Asking the following questions can help avoid the slightest misunderstanding that may screw up your design even before you’ve started working on it.
13. What do you exactly do?
14. How long have you been in the market?
15. What are your company’s key values?
16. What products and services do you offer?
Therefore, it is very important for you as a designer to get your head completely around your client’s business.
What would you like to have on your website?
Once you have gained the trust of your client you need to make sure that at the end of the project your client should leave as a happy and satisfied man. For that you need to ask your client about the features they wish to see on the site making it important to incorporate features that would help in achievement of the client’s campaign goals. For example, if your goal is to capture more leads, you’ll want to incorporate an email sign-up bar and social media icons.
Besides following web design trends and strategies, you should also ask:
17. Is there anything special that you would want to have on your website?
18. Do you have ideas on what sort of things you can use to build the visual brand identity?
19. Does your client want a shopping cart, social media implementation, a blog or news feed etc.
Whatever your client wants, make sure to find what it is NOW.
20. Who are the customers that you are targeting at?
“When the customer is satisfied and everyone is happy, the job is not finished. Give them a reason to come back.”
To design a website that drives results, you need to know who is in your target audience. Only then can you build a site that works better for your audience. Your audience’s behaviour will impact how you structure your site. You may create a beautiful design but if it doesn’t ring a bell with the customers and fails to correspond to online marketing rules then all the effort would be meaningless.
Therefore ask your client who the new website is designed for. Identify types of customers who might be interested in the website. Here are some details you can research on in order to understand the prospective customer:
– Demographics – Customers’ age, gender, occupation, marital status, etc.
– Psychographics – Customers’ interests, lifestyle and online behavior.
But I would suggest you to dig deeper than just demographics. You need to find out what the customers’ pains, problems and fears are. Only then can you strike an immediate connection with web visitors.
21. Who are your competitors?
You want to create a website that will enable your clients to stand out from the competition. Having identified the goals and struggles of your client, it’s time to gather some information on their top competitors. You will need your clients’ to give you a short list of competitors not only the direct ones but also the less obvious ones, that directly impact their business. This will not only give you an idea of your clients’ competitors’ websites but also help you have a distinct vision of your design.
Finally…Make Sure You Deliver
If you want to build the best website for your clients’, you need to make sure you ask these questions. Not just for the sake of it but to be able to deliver what we are asked for. Don’t be one of those designers who just put multiple elements on screen for the sake of doing business.
Show your clients’ that they matter. Make them believe that you understand the ins and outs of their business and can create a more effective site for their audience. So get started. Kick off your website design project by asking these questions and see your business grow.