Getting a web design project is half a journey, the rest is how you understand and deliver as per the requirements. We know winning a client is cumbersome, but what is more important in dealing with clients is to understand their businesses deep down and mold a useful design.
Success in web design and development all depends on in achieving excellence in your skills and expertise. However, without knowing about the client and his or her business, your skills may fade away. You will have to narrow down your homework on the design else, you will end up on a completely irrelevant product that is useless for the client.
To help you find more about a newly acquired web design project, we are sharing some of the substantial questions to ask the client before moving further on the project.
1. What products or services does your business offer?
Understanding the nature of a business is among the basics of a designing project. Like, you cannot start with a design concept if unsure about exactly what your client does.
It is recommended to ask multiple questions from your clients about their businesses rather than guessing from the provided business name and keywords. A business name can be a key to understanding as what they do, but you can confuse them with a completely different startup.
For example, Urban Sol or Urban Sole are two different businesses. You can guess that one is an IT company and the other is a shoe company. However, you cannot be dead sure about their business operations. Do not hesitate to ask them until you are certain.
2. To whom do you want to reach out?
A website, blog, or an online store comes into being while keeping a specific community in mind. The business or the owner wants to serve a target audience with their valuable products, services, or thoughts. Every business, small or medium or a big one initiates to reach out a specific user group.
As soon as you get to know the target audience, you can create a persona that dictates the daily routine, lifestyle, common behavior, likeness, preferences, and expectations of an audience. It will help you better understand the requirements of a client.
3. What is your Website’s End Goal?
A website without a goal is like a homeless person who does not know what to do with his life. Ask your client what they want to achieve with their website. Inquire about their end goal. If it is a brick and mortar shop, a surefire reason for setting up a website will be maximizing their revenues and digitizing their business.
The end goal of any website is conversion, but the form and nature of a goal vary from business to business, and industry to industry. Like a charitable foundation may seek conversions in the form of donors, bloggers may want to increase subscribers, podcasters will want more listeners, and the list goes on.
4. Do you need a fresh website or a revamp?
Not every client is a beginner or getting a design done for the first time. Ask your prospect as if he or she already has a website or need a fresh one with an appealing design. It will help you to ask questions accordingly.
If the client already has a website, get its link to observe its current state and the improvements he is looking for. But, if he is here for the first time, you may need to dive deeper into understanding what exactly he needs.
5. Ask for a sample design they like the most
If the client is looking for a revamp, you can discuss that further, whereas first timers do not easily communicate their requirements. One of the easiest methods to get an idea about that is asking them about a sample design they adore.
Discuss further a sample design as to what extent they like the layout, color, and text of a design. you can narrow down your understanding by finding what they like the most about their current or an upcoming design.
6. What you are best at?
A company is proud either at their products, quality, or service wants to portray it in its web design as well. They want to display their expertise to a visual context so that the users get to know about their specialization at a glance.
Ask the company what makes them different, or why their product or service could be a user’s priority. There are businesses that select a trade and become the master of it. Like woodworking, carving, iron molding, etc. They may want to display all the efforts and processes they put in bringing a product to life in the design. Make sure to document those requirements if any.
7. With whom do you aim to compete?
Web presence of a competitor simplifies half of the process in understanding your client’s requirements. Ask them about similar businesses that are ahead in the game with an interactive website. Visit the website and grab more information about that specific business and niche.
The client may want a website like that, which does not mean copying it exactly same. They may mean to draft a design similar in functionality but completely different in appearance. Discuss with them and you will find different ways of composing a superior design.
8. What are the features you need the most?
The clients have a fair idea of the features they want on their website either it is a one-page website or a multi-lingual online store. Just like the way every business differs, the feature requirements of every merchant may also differ a lot.
For example, a must-have feature for a blogger would be a block to collect email subscribers, whereas an online seller may insist on simplifying the navigation to expose all of the products to users in a go. A feature list is more likely around the conversion goals set by the owner.
9. Do you track your website traffic?
This question may not apply to clients who are getting a website designed for the first time. However, tracking users afterward can help them know the common behavior of their target audience. Ask your client who already has a website if they are using any web analytics tool.
If there is such a system in place, you can drag down to the design flaws of the existing site by evaluating the bounce rate, exit pages, the average time a user spend, etc.
10. Do you have HQ visual content?
The startup enthusiasts often keep an archive of images and videos which they wanted to incorporate in website design. It may not be necessarily high in quality. Ask them about the visual content they have planned for the website and examine its quality on your own. Let them know either the content is worth an addition to the design or not.
11. When do you expect the design deliverables?
Clients do have deadlines, as they want their e-business to go live as soon as possible. However, designers and developers do have their own timelines. Ask your prospective client about the time they expect deliverables.
If the time is short and not flexible enough for you to schedule, you can make it clear to the client rather than making fake promises. Else, it may earn penalties and adversely affect your reputation among the community.
12. Have you selected typography and color combination?
A new website means the company seeks a fresh appearance. They may have color preferences that may resonate with their brand or business name. They may also want to represent the colors used in the interior designing of their commercial premises to remain consistent between online and offline presence.
Business owners also have inspirations in the font types they would like to use on the website. let them communicate the typeface they like the most so that you can use its variation all across the website.
13. Will you be able to manage your website?
Ask your client if he or she is able to manage a website or may need your assistance time to time. Beginners are often ignorant of the basics of managing and publishing content on their blog or online store. They may even need help in refining the product description. Keeping that in mind, you will have to simplify the control panel accordingly and train the client’s staff so that they do not call you for the minor updates.
Asking your client about familiarity with website maintenance will also reveal the fact that how frequently they may need changes to the website. It may about customization the layout further or a business-specific functionality. Be in close connection to provide them with an ultimate solution for their startup, and not just to increase your portfolio.
Final VerdictUnderstanding the idea or vision of a prospective client is difficult. Grabbing a project is not that simple. It requires a lot of struggling in understanding what is going on in the mind of a client, what he wants, and how he wants his inspiration to be included in website design. The above-discussed questions are the common ones, whereas you may come up with more revealing queries. If you think, they are worth asking the client, let us know in the comments.
Author Bio: Muhammad Faheem is a Senior Writer at United Sol. With more than 7 years of experience, he regularly writes product descriptions and review blogs of the plug-ins developed for different platforms like Magento, PrestaShop, and WooCommerce. He contributes to this blog as well. Keeping coming back to follow his posts.