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Just about every web designer will ask a client general stylistic questions before building a website. Questions are what help a developer determine an approach to the web design project that provides the client with exactly what they had requested. Aside from basic style questions, a web designer should also ask in-depth questions that get to the heart of the website requirements. If a web designer is not asking these important questions, it is highly recommended that the client bring them up. Let’s take a look at five of the most important questions that can help a web designer build the best possible website for a client.
“Can you describe your business in a few sentences?”
An elevator pitch facilitates the web design process in a number of ways. First, a sentence or two about your business helps the designers grasp the main concept of what you hope to offer clients and customers through your products or services. The brevity of this type of description also helps the designer capture the attention of the viewer without going into enough detail to deter the reader from reading everything on the page. As the website owner, you want visitors to read everything you have to say and in many cases, short and sweet draws more readers than the other end of the spectrum.
“Who are your main competitors?”
One of the best kept secrets among web designers is the art of checking out the competition. Competitor research helps the web designer not only to understand how other companies in the field are marketing their sites, but also to decipher which strategies are working well and which ones aren’t. Competitor research is not to be confused with copying. Competitor research is rather learning from the benefits and mistakes of others in the same field.
“What sets your business apart from your competitors?”
Chances are your business offers something unique among the businesses in the field and if it doesn’t, here is your opportunity to make mention of something. The designer can turn that uniqueness into a great marketing strategy by playing it up on the homepage and calling it out specifically throughout the site. You can think inside of the box in terms of your unique offering – something as simple as a free consultation is enough to make a potential customer choose your service the services of a competitor. You can also get creative and think outside of the box to help draw customers in.
“Can you describe your target customer?”
For a web designer, knowledge of the target audience means everything. While a younger audience of teenage boys would prefer a visual site with less text, more mature audiences such as women over the age of 60 would generally be more inclined to like a website with something compelling to read. Visually, a site that attracts a younger audience will more often than not prove unattractive to an older audience, and vice versa. It is important to be specific in this process, narrowing the audience down to gender, age, annual income and other pertinent information.
“What is your deadline for completing the site?”
Deadlines are important. Deadlines keep the entire project on track, preventing it from fizzling out over time. Plenty of website projects start out with a bang and then dwindle away because neither the client nor the developer ever established a deadline. This is a great question for a developer to ask as it reassures the client that the developer respects the deadline and aims to complete the project within that time frame.
Akesh Gupta is President of Light Speed Solutions, a software development company specializing in mobile application development and web design services.