In an earlier idea I’ve been talking about how to manage your web design projects successfully and the importance of gathering requirements and asking questions.
But often, when new clients approach you asking for your service it’s not always that easy to find the right starting point to get that project running.
I often get asked if I could create a website for someone.
While the natural answer would be “…yes, of course”, it usually depends on what service that person (client) really is looking for and if I’m capable of meeting their requirements to start with.
So, here’s where a web design questionnaire comes in handy.
I thought I’ll share some ideas on how to create a web design questionnaire and provide you with a free template questionnaire (as pdf and word) for you to download and edit to your needs.
For those of you that just want the templates click the download button below
(I’ll do the rest anyway;-)
Here we go…
What’s the use of a questionnaire
A questionnaire gives you a great kick start before you get involved with anything else. It gives you a general insight on who that potential client is, what their looking for and if you’re the right person for the job.
Here are some main benefits:
- you know who you’re dealing with, what your client does and what they might expect from you
- you can check if your service aligns with the requirements of your potential client
- you’re capable of estimating the potential effort and plan your resources when working on other projects
- it makes your appearance more professional
And when dealing with dubious requests of clients, making an effort to fill out your questionnaire usually puts them off leaving you with only those who seriously seek your service.
What should be in such a questionnaire
The main focus here is targeting the web design industry, so this section might differ depending on what services you offer. But there are always some main questions you should include in your questionnaire.
What do they (the client) want from you
Provide them with a set of services you have to offer and let them verify what they want from you. Since web design is a multidisciplinary filed you want to be sure about what they expect from you.
About the client
Get to know your client. Let them tell you what they do, what visions they have or what culture they life in their company. The more you know about your client, the more you will be able to reflect their identity in your solution.
Deadline and money
Always ask about a possible deadline. You don’t want to get into a project that has unrealistic parameters to begin with.
Always ask about the budget. Some clients might not typically disclose there budget, but having this information will help you scope the project and prevent you from wasting time if the budget isn’t realistic with the project requirements.
Make sure you know who will be your contact person and who will be making the final decisions. In projects where there will be several people involved you want to be clear about whom to report to.
The goal and purpose
Try to find out what the clients motivation for the project is. Let them tell you what they’re trying to achieve and what goals they have (more sales, brand awareness, subscriptions, promotion…).
Their industry and audience
Every client is dealing with competition in their industry. Knowing who the competitors are makes it easier to do better then them. Including questions about the industry gives you some research resources.
The same goes for the audience (the clients clients). Surly your client will have detailed information on what customers they have or want to reach. If not, it might be a good impulse for them to start doing so.
Look and feel
Try to get an idea of what the client likes. Let them name you some existing websites (or products) they like and why they like them. Let them tell you what impression they want to make and if they have any branding related restrictions. You want your solution not only to work but also to look and feel good.
Answering technical questions could be intimidating for some. So make sure you keep it simple and basic. You don’t want to ask them about php versions or what webserver they favor. But asking about what features they might want (blog, video/audio, forum…) or if they wish to update their website content themselves should be something every (even not so technical versed) person could answer.
Provide hints and don’t forget your contact information
Don’t forget to include your contact information on the questionnaire (you won’t find any on the templates, so don’t forget to add them ;-).
I know it might be obvious but you wouldn’t believe how often I’m left scratching my head when filling out a form and don’t know where to get support when something isn’t clear.
Also provide helpful tooltips or give example answers to clarify what information you’re expecting. Not only will you more likely get the right answers to your questions, it can also make filling out your questionnaire much easier.
Use these tips (and the templates) and go create your custom, professional questionnaire. When people are seeking business with you, you will have a great starting point to dig into the project.
Have helpful additions to the list above? Do you have your own questionnaire? Have any questions? Share them with a comment below or drop me a line.