I have worked in the web design branch for quite some time now and the best thing that I have learned is that working with the clients and co-operating with their wishes is essential for creating a good, solid website that will serve its purpose. After all, you are creating the website for them and it is their company that will be represented. So, if you decide to sit down with your client, ask him a few questions and then have him readily available for questions, you will definitely not be mistaken. This will help you determine the best way to build the website and will ensure that it is maximally efficient. So, when you meet with the client, try asking making inquiries such as these.
This question (technically, it is not a question, but we’ll call it that, anyway) is a basic one and should really be your primary inquiry into your clients intentions. Ask for some basic info which will help you get an idea about the company’s background, their goals, tendencies, products and line of work. These are all essential for web design, because you cannot, for example, make a website for children’s toys with grim, dark colors. It would just not stick.
“Who are you competing with?”
Competition is another thing that you should ask your client about. Basically, by visiting the websites of the competition, you will see what goes well and what does not. Consider it a type of market research. Of course, do not copy what you see is good, but, rather, work to make your clients website stand out and capitalize on their mistakes. Also, it will give you a good idea of just how innovative the website has to be and where the competition stands in terms of web design.
“What makes you different from them?”
As I said, the point is to make the website stand out from the competition. You can do this, of course, by creating some kind of extraordinary design, but, working with the client and asking him about what makes the company unique is another great way to make a point. You can make the website work towards that uniqueness, thus pointing it out clearly and stressing that to the viewers.
“Describe briefly your target customer.”
Each company strives towards a certain group of target customers. Energy drinks companies aim for young and energetic people, always on the move, for example. Once again, this will provide you with a good idea for the direction of the website. It can also help you concentrate on some details, like making the website easier to navigate for the elderly or the children.
“Are there any specific functions that you wish incorporated?”
Some of the business owners are aware of the possibilities of a website and all the functions that it can have. Asking them what they want will help you get the maximum out of the website, thus making your clients more satisfying and reducing the need for redesigning any time soon. Some of the clients, however, do not know the options. You can work with them and present them with some solutions and see what they like. Also, advise them to do a little research of their own and come back to you with a few ideas.
“How much time do I have at my disposal?”
Many times, it happens that launching a website is a part of some larger marketing campaign. This means that the website has to be launched at a specific date. See how much time they think it should take and advise changes, if necessary or recommended. Asking this early on will remove the chances of the website running late due to a misunderstanding.
“What are the keywords and search phrases that you wish to be promoted for?”
This might leave the client confused, because many business owners are yet to understand the importance of SEO on the web. If do not know what SEO is, take the time to explain it to them and to suggest ideas for optimizing the website’s content to match the relevant criteria. This will greatly improve the website’s visibility and presence, thus making the website a successful project.
“Who will take care of the content of the website?”
If they have not heard of SEO, you will need to explain to them that the content of the website needs constant updating and refreshing. Explain to them that the search engine rankings and the success of the website depend on this. If they have no one in mind, you can suggest some skilled copywriters to them. If you are working with a copywriter, suggest him for a slight increase in the price. This way, you will have provided the full service.
So, to conclude, communicating with your clients is essential for the success of the website. This will enable you to do your job much better and to have another satisfied customer in your portfolio. The better the job that you do, the higher the chances of a better-paid work coming your way.