Important questions that your web designer should be asking you.
I really believe that designing for a client is a conversation, not a done deal. In order to understand what a client is wanting in a design, be it web or a logo, or even a flyer I have questions that I will ask my client.
I have learned that I, as the designer, need to go beyond the ‘style’ and find out some in depth information about the clients business.
These are the questions that I would ask my clients before embarking on a design:
• Can you describe your business in a few sentences?
In other words, give me a short description to use on the home page. People don’t have time to read lots of copy so short and sweet is the deal.
• Who are your competitors?
It helps to see what your competition is doing. Not so as to copy their designs, but to do better. Faster. Clearer.
• Why should people take a chance on your business instead of the guy next door?
Getting clients to succinctly discover what their strengths are, while giving me clues as to what to highlight in their design, is a win for both of us. It doesn’t have to be anything earth-shattering. In fact, it can be something incredibly simple, such as offering complimentary samples, for instance. People love to ‘try before they buy’.
• Who is your target customer?
Seems obvious, but it is an often-forgotten question and should in fact be top of the list. Imagine designing a website for a client whose clients are 50–65 year old and live in a country estate — and you have images of young people full of tattoos, with purple hair and surf boards on their cars. Other than this obvious point, when I come to doing the SEO for your website, I need to be able to get into the mind of your client in order to know how they will search for your offering. So, gender, age, geographical position and annual income are major things to be considered in order to design the most appropriate site for your audience.
• What is the deadline for completion?
Speaks for itself. Once your designer has a deadline, they have an appointment to keep. Having said that KEEPING THE CLIENT IN THE LOOP is key to maintaining a good relationship.
• Look and Feel.
This is the part where I, as a designer, will be probing to get a feel of the look that you are wanting for your project. In order to give me an idea of what you have in mind and what your style is I will ask you to do some research and find a few websites that you like. Getting the client to think about why they like a particular design is a great exercise and very helpful in defining what they are really wanting.
• Colour is also an important part of this question. What colours do you like/prefer?
Finding out what exactly you want your website to do is key as well. Many people are not at all on top of what their website can offer, they just know that they need one….. because…. well, everyone has one. It is up to me as the web designer to get to the heart of your business and suggest new ways to leverage all the technologies that are available and appropriate to your site. For instance, if you run a BnB, you probably know that you want to have contact info and directions on your site. But what about adding an option for customers to book their reservation via your website?
• Who is going to be responsible for the website’s content?
This is one of the areas that I find clients just don’t even think about. Do they plan on writing the copy for the site themselves? Well written copy sells, there are specific ways to write copy so that search engines will find the website. Spending a bit extra on copy that is properly written is so important. See the next point.
• SEO. What key search phrases would you like to be found for?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is your key to being found on the Web. Being quite specific in how you want people to find your business online is key to success. At JacciR Design we have people who specialise on SEO as well as copy writing. Another important point would be to establish how much time you have to create new content each week. A web site needs to be dynamic, it’s not a make it and upload it and BOOM, lots of business. It is work, work, work.