As a client you might have an idea in your mind how your new website should look like and what it should do. But you might also not be so sure regarding your needs for your new website. You might not have thought about functionalities, marketing, the calls to action or the software integrations that need to be included.
A designer’s quest is to find out what you have in mind. The ultimate goals are that the client’s expectations are met and preferably exceeded.
The designer should aim to build a bridge between the expectations of the client and reality. That bridge translates into an online product that satisfies client and its users.
In order to meet the client’s expectations the designer should ask a few key questions, such as the purpose of the website, who it is for and what product or service the client markets. Rather then just asking a few questions over the telephone we found it more satisfying to have clients fill in a questionnaire that covers everything we need to know to design a compelling website that meets the needs of the client. During our first meeting we discuss the questionnaire and fill in all the gaps.
We’ve outlined the questions in a questionnaire based on years of experience in the industry. Use it for your future design projects. If you any additions to this questionnaire let us know in a comment below we always like to improve.
Your company and its products and services
What is it that your company does? So we know what we are trying to ‘sell’ on the website
- How can you best describe your company?
- Please describe the product or service you are (going to sell) selling and can you catogorise them? If you have a heap of products please provide them in a CSV or similar format
- What is the most important product & services information you would like to display on your website?
- Who are your biggest competitors?
- What makes you different from your competition? Why should (potential) customers choose you over your competition
Who are the people buying your products and/or services? So we know for who we are designing the website.
- How can you best describe your (potential) customers?
- What are the needs of your (potential) customers?
- Are there other segments of potential customers you would like to reach with the website?
- What objections or problems do you encounter reaching out to (potential) customers?
Tell us your vision of your new website.
- What are the goals for your website? e.g. Generate leads, sell a service, raise awareness…
- What are the specific goals for the website? For example 10 leads every month
- What calls of action would you like to use on the website? e.g. Call back, buy, register, subscribe, download brochure / ebook, free trial, make an appointment, free consultation, donate..
- If you currently have a website what do you like most about it and what do you dislike?
- Do you have any marketing materials (for example brochures) the website needs to match with?
- What web pages do you want your website to have? Or which subjects do you want your website to cover?
- Would you like to be able to edit content yourself? Have you thought about any Content Management System in particular?
- Does your website need to be integrated with any software that you use?
- Are there any special features you want your website to have? e.g. multi-language or a login
- Do you have a look and feel in mind for your website?
- Please list a few websites that you really like, and explain why you like them
- What is your budget for the website?
- What is the deadline for this project?
Are you wanting to make money online? Then there are a few extra things we should know.
- How many product or services options do you have (estimate)?
- If you are selling products, how do you plan to ship your products to the customer?
- Do you have a merchant account and payment gateway?
We would like to know which assets you have readily available for you website or which assets we need to organise.
- Do you have a brand or style guide?
- Do you have a logo in Illustrator available?
- Are you happy with your current logo?
- Do you have high resolution photos or video available depicting your company, products or services?
- Would you like us to take photos or video for your website and any other promotional activities you wish to undertake?
- Do you have content available for your website? If not would you like us to write the content?
Marketing & Social Media
- How do you plan to market your website? i.e. how do you plan to attract people to your website?
- Do you have social media accounts setup such as Facebook, Google+, linked in, twitter, instagram?
- If not, would you like us to do this for you?
Domain name and hosting
- Did you buy a domain name? If so what is the domain name, with which company did you register it and what are the login details?
- Did you buy hosting for your new website? If so what are the hosting and login details?
- If so, with which company did you buy hosting and what are the login details?
- If you did not buy a domain name or hosting would you like us to buy these for you?
- Do you have a current Google analytics account, if so what are the login details?
After you’ve discussed these questions with your potential clients you can draw up a webdesign proposal, which we will discuss in the next article.
Let us know in a comment below if there’s any questions we’ve missed out on we’re always keen to add to our questionnaire.