Questions you should ask a client before starting web design project from scratch
Aug 23, 2022
To make a WOW website design, a designer has to rely on more than just his experience and taste, trying to guess what the client wants.
Sometimes you’ll be able to guess, but there’s a more proven way to reveal a client’s expectations and preferences — ask the right questions BEFORE you start 👆
Whether you’re working hand-in-hand with business analysts and managers on a large team, or you’re a solo freelancer, as a designer you need to keep your focus on more than just visual issues. It’s important for you to understand what the project’s target audience is, and its marketing goals. Even the client’s budget can be useful to know so that you don’t fill the design with too expensive features that will inflate the project’s budget. In this case, your cool design won’t benefit any real user and will be useless.
Design from Scratch
I’ve focused on the questions you need to ask the client when you’re designing a website from scratch. Most of these questions will also be relevant to redesigning an existing site, but such projects need to be handled on a broader scale. In the site redesign case, you should request site performance analytics to examine the weaknesses of the current design. In this case, you need to know what works well and what doesn’t, what is inconvenient for the user, and whether the site brings conversions. I’ll talk about that next time!
Now I’ve prepared a list of questions that will be useful for your perfect brief. You don’t have to incorporate them all, you should always consider the context and the initial request from the client.
For convenience, I’ve divided the questions into categories. Let’s explore!
Background information and client business
- What is the main goal of the company today?
- Who is your target market? (age, gender, income, tastes, attitudes, geography)
- What user problems are we solving with the site?
- Are you focusing just on this market or are you trying to hit other markets as well?
- List your 3 biggest competitors?
- How do you differentiate yourself from your competition?
Vision & Values
- What is the overall purpose of the marketing website?
- What are your core corporate values and how do you want to express them to your audience?
- What is your vision (for the brand)?
- What brands do you want to be like, either in personality or visually?
- Is there already a stylus guide and marketing material that you use? How strictly do we have to follow them?
- Is there a logo? (If the client already has a logo, but you, as a professional, see an opportunity for improvement, then of course you can offer your ideas).
If the client does not have a logo or style guide, you should include the questions from the list below:
- How should the logo look and feel? (Minimal or Complex, Modern or Classic, Playful or Serious, Loud or Subtle, Economical or Luxurious, Geometric or Organic, Abstract or Literal)
- Do you have a slogan or mission statement you want to be incorporated into your logo?
- Could you provide 3-5 examples of logos that you like?
- Can you provide 3-5 examples of sites/apps that you like and explain why?
- Which main color will be the most suitable for your project (green, blue, purple, etc) and why?
- List 3 font types that you like and explain why.
- List 3 button styles that you like and explain why.
- How many different concepts would you like to see?
- What would you like to do first?
- Who will make the final decision to launch the new design on your side?
- How will you evaluate whether the new site design is successful or not?
Always keep in mind that the client does not need just a nice picture, he needs a functioning website that will work for his business. Do not be afraid to ask questions. This way you show your care and your professionalism. By asking the right questions, you not only better understand the client’s preferences, but also find a common language and build a relationship with a client who will probably work with you in the future.