Starting a website design or re-design project for a client almost always requires some research into who the client is, what they do and offer, and most importantly, how can we design/develop a website that will convey their selling point the most effectively?
Often times, our new clients will come with few ideas as to what they want on their website or how they want everything to look. As designers, it is our job and overall objective to ask the right questions to ensure that the project heads down the right path starting out.
When a new client decides to work with Thrive, we have a pretty simplistic and repetitive approach of asking our clients around 4 main questions that help us feel for what the client wants, and which way the design will go. Obviously, before we go over these questions, we have almost always either talked over the phone, emailed, or met in person to discuss their business, business goals and direction to get a better understanding of our client.
1. Do you have a Logo File?
This may seem pretty straightforward, in fact it is. Lots of clients will have great logos, some not so great. Others won’t have one at all. The clients who have invested time and money into a great logo will really see an advantage with the design of their site. From a designer’s standpoint, it is much easier to craft a web design layout if the logo we’re working with is professionally done, modern and just pleasing to the present day of marketing trends.
2. Can you provide us with 2-3 website examples?
Having our clients go out online and find 2-3 websites they like the looks and feel of is really effective for us. This does 2 things to help the design process. 1. We get a feel for the type of client we’re working with and their individual taste for design as well, and 2. We’re able to survey actual elements on the website that they point out and decide if we can include those in their design as well.
3. Which Colors do you like? Dislike?
This goes along with general branding. Most clients who have a nice logo will almost always mention that they want their website designed around the colors and accented colors that will blend with their logo. In those cases, they are 100% correct. The best sites of ours include a color scheme that is heavily (and tastefully) crafted around the colors found in your logo. For the sites that we aren’t as fortunate on with a client’s logo, it is still our job to create a layout that compliments the logo, but doesn’t 100% mirror the branding of the logo.
4. Page Count – Which pages to use?
For clients who are hiring us for a re-designed site, this is normally a pretty straight-forward question as they almost always keep their basic page count the same, or at least pretty similar.
For brand new clients who have never owned a website, getting a detailed list of the pages they will want for their site is essential in designing them into the initial mockup.
Everybody sees websites differently and it is our job as designers to portray a professional product. The interaction you have with your client in order to collect important information can greatly impact your ability to create a professional end result. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to in order to get all the tools you need.