Questions you need to ask clients before starting a web design project

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Getting a new web design project is always exciting and intriguing. However, it can also be challenging. Before you dive into the creative process, you need to make sure you fully understand your client’s requests and their vision of the final result. There are lots of details to consider, and all of them matter.

Making up a list of questions for your client is a quick and effective way to ensure their expectations will be met. It’ll help to set the final deliverables and plan the basis for a solid web design proposal. In this article, we’re going to define what a website design questionnaire is and discuss what kind of questions you need to ask if you’re intending to start a web design project. So, let’s get started. 

What is a website design questionnaire

In order to get a clear understanding of the client’s desires and requirements, web designers create a list of appropriate questions. It’s called a questionnaire and is sent to potential clients before the actual work begins. 

If you’re planning to build a website, it’s important to send a questionnaire to your potential clients beforehand. That way, you’ll be able to define everything you need to know from budget and timeline to the specifics of the future website’s target audience. Composing the questions might take some time, but it’s always worth the effort. Having all the answers in one place (which is a big plus of any questionnaire) will definitely make your work easier and ensure the success of the project. 

Why do you need a website design questionnaire

Getting the basic information isn’t the only reason for using a questionnaire. It’s no secret that clients do not always know what exactly they want and sometimes try to conceal why they need a new website. If you don’t ask them detailed questions in advance, there might be some misunderstandings later. 

A website design questionnaire will help your clients to clearly articulate their needs and make sure you understand their vision correctly. It’ll give you a sense of their brand’s values, goals, and mission as well. Overall, a good questionnaire helps not only to build a well-structured website that accomplishes its objectives but also provides a better User Experience (UE) for the potential audience. 

So, what questions to ask when designing a website? Look down below to check out our examples.

Phase #1: current website

It’s always smart to start with some basics. So, here are the core web design questions you need to ask clients to start a new project.

  • Why do you need to build or redesign your website?

Find out if it’s a completely new project or if there were some previous versions of the website. If your client wants a redesign, it’s vital to know why.

  • What business goals do you want your website to achieve? Which of them aren’t being met right now?

Knowing goals is no less important. Your client must have them as well as be aware which of them can’t be achieved with the current version of their website.

  • What is the main goal of having a website for your brand?

Your client’s brand should have a specific purpose, and you should know it. It’s not that hard to build a pretty website, but it’s much harder not to make it useless.

Whether the website’s goal is to keep users updated about anything or to make it possible to purchase something you need to take it into consideration. No website can be successful without considering its users’ needs firstly.

  • What will users get on your website?

Ask for detailed information here to know what exactly should be offered to users.

  • What kind of website does your brand need?

If your client needs an e-commerce website, it’s one thing. If they want a news portal – that’s something completely different. You need to know what exactly your client expects to make the right choice when it comes to the website’s platform, features, and functionality.

  • Who is your potential audience?

Every website is made for someone. Hence, you need to know who’s your audience and what are their needs to get the desired results.

  • How will you determine success?

To determine your website’s success, your client will need to set up some goals beforehand. They can be long- or short-termed, or both. Let your client decide what’s essential for them (it can be anything from traffic to sales) and track it after the launch of the website.

  • How do you want your brand’s website to be portrayed?

This question is important since without it you won’t be able to fully understand what is your client’s desired vision of the website. Make sure you know what values it should translate and what feelings it should evoke in users.

  • What do you like and dislike about your competitors’ websites?

Analyzing your competitors’ websites is always beneficial. Even, if you don’t really like them. 

Let your client check them out and decide what features they want to see on their website and what’s definitely out of the list. You’ll most probably need some references to show your team, so don’t forget about this step.

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Phase #2: redesign

Now that we’ve covered the basic questions, it’s time to go a little bit deeper. Here are the questions that might help to fasten the whole creating process and avoid miscommunication.

  • What’s the scope of this project?

Knowing the scope of the project is important in order to avoid scope creep – growth of the number of tasks that are needed to be done. Without a specific plan you’ll most likely lose time and money, and won’t be able to stay on track. 

  • What’s the project timeline?

This is going to help you with establishing the launch date and monitoring the progress of the project. With a certain date, you’ll be able to plan everything in advance and not blow a deadline. 

  • What’s the project budget?

This question is also crucial, especially, for small business owners. Any web designer needs to know what to expect when it comes to money to be able to plan everything out. 

Sometimes clients will have to choose some features over others to fit into the budget, and sometimes they’ll have more options than expected. Anyway, it’s important to have a realistic vision of the future website before the start of its creation.

  • Which functions or features are really necessary?

The answer to this question depends on the website’s purpose. For example, there is no need to add the online payment function to the news blog. It’s always wiser to decide what’s really necessary and what’s just “nice to have”.

  • What are the most important calls-to-action (CTAs) on your website?

CTAs should encourage users to complete certain actions, but they can also decrease conversions when done poorly. So, it’s only beneficial to think through or even test the options before launching the website. 

  • How much traffic do you expect?

Is your website for local people or is it international? Is there a possibility of thousands of users visiting it at once? Should you be prepared for the website’s crash or is it unlikely? That’s what this question is about. 

  • What is the most important information on your website (especially, on the home page)?

Users won’t stay on your website for long if they don’t find what they need almost immediately. Don’t forget to show them your website’s worth of their time and ask your client for the most important information to put it right on the homepage.

  • Do you have a proposed sitemap prepared?

If your client has a proposed sitemap prepared, don’t forget to check it out. It can save you a lot of time.

  • Do you have any specific goals for your website?

This question is important in case your client has some specific goals in mind that you should know of. Knowing such goals can help you to focus on the right things while working on the project.

  • How quickly do you want to achieve these goals?

Make sure you’re on the same page with your client about this one. Otherwise, you might not be pleased with each other sometime later. 

Phase #3: competitive analysis

It’s vital for any website to stand out among its competitors. To make it happen, you will need to know as much as possible about them and analyze received information. The questions below should be a great help to you.

– Who are your main competitors? Can you name the top ten of them?

– What makes them so special? Why do they stand apart from others?

– What do you like the most about your competitors’ websites?

– Are there any websites of your competitors that you dislike? If so, why?

– Do you like some specific details, features, and functionality of your competitors’ websites?

– Which of those elements would you like to see on your website?

 

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Audience identification

To make a truly successful web design project, you need to know exactly who is your audience. Here you can see a list of questions you need to ask when building a website to understand its potential visitors better and make the creating process easier. 

– What are your audience’s general needs, desires, and challenges?

– How can your website help your audience with their pain points? What features are meant for that?

– What are your audience’s age group and gender?

– Where is your audience mostly located?

– What is the marital status of your audience?

– Do your audience normally have kids?

– What is their occupation and income level?

– What’s the education level of your audience?

– Name your audience’s personality types.

– What are their general values?

–  What hobbies do your audience have?

– What are their behaviors and attitudes?



Branding 

It’s impossible to deny the importance of branding, so not paying attention to it would be a huge mistake for any type of business. Here you can find a list of the basic questions that can be useful for you. However, don’t forget to change them in accordance with the specifics of your client’s business. 

– Do you have brand guidelines, and what are they?

– In case you don’t, do you need help in making them up?

– Do you have any color preferences for your website?

– What kind of images seems appropriate for your business?

– If we do a redesign, do you want to update all your images?

– Do you want help with their creation?

– Do you have site architecture completed?

– Do all your products/services are meant for the same type of clients? 

– What helps your brand to stand out among your competitors?

– What content do you expect to see on your website?

– Do you have any duplicate content right now?

– What will you do when your website is launched? Will you need additional help with the next steps?

– Do you have a logo and a slogan?

– What values do you want to translate? 

– Do you have a mission as a brand?

Sales, marketing, and advertising

Detailed information about sales, marketing, and advertising is essential in order to get a well-organized and efficiently working website. Different types of companies have different types of approaches when it comes to marketing, so these questions will help you to understand your client’s position much better.

– What types of marketing do you generally prefer?

– Do you have any content strategy right now?

– Are you planning to run any ads? If so, what kind?

– What is your advertising budget?

– Do you have any problems with attracting qualified leads for your business?

– How deeply are you invested in social media?

– Will you have a blog page on your website? If so, who will be in charge of it?

– Do you use marketing automation software right now?

– Do you currently use any email marketing or similar tools?

– Are you familiar with a CRM to store sales and customer information?

– Do you prefer your targeted content to be personalized for specific types of users?

– How do you feel about email marketing communications?

– What types of emails do you send to your customers?

– Are you planning to use automated emails that are triggered by customers’ actions?

– Do you want to be able to create, edit, and publish landing/site pages?

– Have you already performed A/B tests of your landing pages and calls-to-action to increase CTRs? 

– Are you satisfied with your previous marketing and advertising experience? If not, what were your biggest challenges? 

– Where do you expect most customers to come from to your website once it’s launched?

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Development and functionality

Questions about development and functionality will let you dig deeper into your client’s expectations about their website’s content, features, and any possible functional requirements. Check our list out to find the most useful questions on this topic.

– What are your general functional requirements for your website?

– Do you need any specific features or elements?

– Are you planning to make sales on your website?

– Do you require a chat feature?

– Do you want to have a mobile-friendly design or is it just for desktop?

– Do you need an internal search engine on your website?

– What way do you want users to log in on your website? (Using a username and password or by social logins?)

– Do you want users to be able to leave comments on your posts?

– Do you want users to be able to post reviews of your products or services?

– Will your website content include audio and video files? If so, what video hosting service are you planning to use?

–  Do you want users to be able to share your content on their socials?

– Do you expect to have their personal information (such as payment or address details)? 

– If you’re updating your website, what functional features have you found useless before?

– What elements on your current website would you like to remove?

– Can you say that the current version of your website has all the necessary features that help your visitors?

– Does its design have enough white space?

– Is it easy for users to navigate through your website?

– Do they know what to click next?

– Do you think your menu is clear enough?

– Would you like to add more menu options or to reduce them?

– Would you say that your current website does or does not have too many distractions?

– Do your CTAs stand out on the page?

Project and budget

Last but not least we have a project and budget section. Make sure to not skip these questions to be able to start working on your project without worrying about a shortage of money or delaying the launch date. 

– What is your budget for this project?

– What is the launch date of the project?

– Do you have any budget for further website improvements?

– Who will be responsible for the final testing of the website before its launching?

– Who will be providing feedback on your website?

– Who will be handling the website after it’s launched?

– Do you need help with managing the website once it’s launched? If so, what are your terms and planned budget for it?

On a final note

It’s only wise to have a list of questions to ask clients before starting a new web design project. That way you’ll be able to determine the budget, deadlines, desired functions, and features without any complications. 

An elaborate list will help you to understand your client’s vision of the project and make sure you’re on the same page. It’s always better to separate your questions into different sections to avoid confusion and information overload. If you’re starting a new project, you can use the questions from this article or adapt them to your client’s business specifics. 

In case you have more questions about the topic, feel free to contact us any time. We’re always here to help. 

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