Sometimes designers immediately start designing the client’s website before they invest time in understanding the client’s business, goals, and audience. That’s one of the most common mistakes which you should definitely avoid. Most of the web design agencies don’t have problems like that, but if you are working with the unprofessional design team or maybe a freelancer, you will probably end up with a website which is beautiful, but probably useless in producing any needed results.
Because we don’t want you to end up delivering a useless final product, here are few tips to ask your client before starting a web design project.
Describe your company and your business in general.
This may look like an unnecessary question since you can do your own research about anybody by simply Googling them. But nevertheless, we need to hear about them from their own mouth because if someone knows their business, that has to be themselves and, believe me, you will be surprised how many layers every business has, even if they look like a small company.
Of course, if your client really is a big company, then you need to “head dive” in their business. You need to try to find out about their future plans and goals, about their competition, products, size, people and core values, their background and how a website fits into that business plan.
Don’t be the designer who thinks what the client does, be the designer who knows exactly what the client does.
Do you already have a website, and if you do, what is or isn’t working for you?
Crossed fingers that your client already has a website and they hire you for building a new one. You may be wondering why that is? Well, it’s because the client’s current website is like a bag of information.
You can easily find out what they like and what they don’t like about the website, what would they like to see carry over to the new site, what is functional and what isn’t, you can even find out about their Google Analytics, find information about CMS and many other things.
Basically, you can learn from previous mistakes they made, try your best not to repeat any of them and provide the best solution they need.
Tell us who are your main competitors and what makes you different from them?
When you’ve learned about the client’s business and studied their current website, it’s time to do some research about their competitors. One of the best sources of information and inspiration are clients’ competitors. You should make sure your client has the best online presentation of their brand on their website, especially when compared to their biggest rivals. The goal should be to increase the number of new customers, to keep existing ones and to try to prevent new potential customers from the client’s website.
Then go and look around all those websites to collect even more information about their content, services, cases, level of design presentations, website speed and stability, etc. After that, when you will be designing, try your best to do everything better than the, but at the same time to be as unique as possible.
What’s your deadline?
To avoid unpleasant surprises and to make the project a lot less stressful, you and the client need to have a clear understanding of the final deadline, as well as work timeline and critical points. It’s crucial to divide the project into smaller phases, organize the tasks and have a great collaboration with your team so you and the client can easily keep track of the project and to ensure that your team will deliver what client expected from you.
The same thing is when the client has a flexible deadline and the timeline as well. Even though the client is flexible about it, your team should have concrete project phases because it’s essential to be productive and to stay professional all the way.bote
What is your budget?
This is always a tricky one, but we shouldn’t be afraid of talking about money. The sooner you talk about the budget, the chances are that you are not going to have problems with payments in the future. Like in every business out there, both sides need to know the scope of money we are talking about. This is important because the agency needs to know how much time and human resources they can invest in the project and the client need to know what exactly is he/she paying.
The budget is also crucial when planning the level of design you will apply, website specifications, content, functionality, etc. All of that has a big impact on timeline and project phases which we mentioned earlier.
So, that’s all for today! These were just a few tips we think you should definitely know before starting any website project for a client. If you are interested in improving yourself as a designer, you should definitely check out this blog post.