Today is a good day. Your web design proposal was accepted. This means you have a new client and a new project that you can't wait to get started on. But you're anticipating a few challenges to getting going.
One challenge you might face is usability: how are users going to interact with the site you're designing? If you don't know your client's product that well, getting into the mindset of a user can be difficult. Cost is another challenge: including different elements is going to cost the client different amounts. So what elements are most important, and what exactly will fit into their budget? Fixing problems: sometimes functionality can work great on your end, but keep breaking on the client's end. This is often due to outdated web browsers or changes that were made by the client incorrectly.
These types of problems can cause hiccups throughout the entire duration of the project, and cause endless stress and frustration for both the client and the designer. Although there are many different types of solutions that can be implemented for each different type of problem, there is one overarching solution that can help make everything smoother and simpler.
If you can extract as much information from your client as possible right from the get-go, you will have a head start on a smooth and efficient process. A pre-project web design client questionnaire is a great way to accomplish this.
So, what to ask? How do you get the best information from the client, without wasting their time or yours?
Ask The Right Questions
It may be true that there is no such thing as a stupid question, but there are questions that are more and less helpful in a particular context. The first thing to consider is: what exactly are you trying to learn? Avoid yes or no questions, unless you want a yes or no answer. Include follow-up questions to dig deeper into the topic. Phrase the questions clearly, so there is no confusion about your intent. If necessary, give examples of what you mean.
Example Questions: Do you want a responsive layout? Yes or No. Can you provide me some examples of responsive layouts that you like?
What pages do you want included in your website, and what types of functionality will they need to have? For example, will the pages be linked to inventory, have lead forms, or include parallax designs?
Osmosis questionnaires allow you to ask as many questions as you need to, and organize by topic or idea.
Give The Client Time To Get The Best Answers
Don't ask your client to rush with their answers to the question. They may need time to get answers from other team members who are experts or have experience in an area. If a manager is in charge of your contract, they may have content developers, inventory experts, or IT staff on site who can answer some of your questions.
Example Questions: How do you want inventory to display on non-inventory pages? This question might need to be answered by an inventory specialist.
What kind of interactive elements do you want to be included in the informational pages? For example, infographics, videos, or interactivities. This may need to be answered by the Web Content Manager or Content Developer.
Osmosis questionnaires are designed to let clients fill them out over time. They save as they are being filled out and have areas for file uploads or long sections of text.
Allow Flexibility In The Questionnaire
Although a questionnaire is designed to provide you the answers to specific questions, you can still leave room for your client to provide information you didn't know you needed. Include one or two questions that are generic or broad, and make sure there are plenty of opportunities for the client to write out their answers. You can also include questions that ask at what point there could be changes to the project. This will allow you to ensure that any budget or timeline changes come as no surprise to you or the client.
Question Examples: What other thoughts do you have about this project? Is there any other important information not included in the answers to these questions?
What is the most important outcome of this project to your team?
Are there any circumstances where we might need to deviate from the process we have outlined? What are those circumstances?
Osmosis questionnaires leave plenty of room for flexibility, so that you can design a tool that gets you exactly the answers that you need.
Ask About The Consumers
Although your project may simply be to design a website to the specifications of your client, understanding the consumer of the site will allow you to understand the reasoning behind what the client is asking for. Then, when you hit snags or run up against challenges, you can more easily make rational decisions based on user experience, and have a clearer understanding of why you're doing what you're doing. The other benefit is that you can use this information to upsell other things you can provide. Is the consumer looking for information? Maybe you can provide a chat option. Does the consumer want to buy products? You can create a unique check-out option.
Question Examples: Who is the target consumer for this website?
What types of features would your target consumer be looking for on a site like this?
Don't Hesitate to Ask
The final thing to remember is to never hesitate to ask a question. A client may decline to answer, but if you don't ask, you will never know.
Designing a straightforward, easy-to-use web design questionnaire doesn't have to be a hassle. With Osmosis, you have all the tools you need right at your fingertips. Click to start our free trial today!