Often times we find ourselves trapped by a clients deadline that a certain project needs to be done yesterday. This might lead to skipping the most important questions to ask clients. Here I have compiled a list of questions to ask your clients for a better project proposal and a design brief. The more information you know about a project the better results you will produce and less time will be wasted, especially when building websites. Certain types of functionality you might have to contract out or spend more time on than other parts, whereas logo design pretty much has the same process repeatedly and is straightforward. Here are some questions that I ask my clients and some other questions I found on the interweb that may be useful to you:
General Company Info
- What is the name of your company?
- What is your business?
- How old is your company?
- What is the size of your company?
- Who are the main contacts and who has final approval of the project?
- Are there specific dates the project needs to be completed?
- Your budget dictates how much time can be spent on your project. What is the budget?
- Describe your business in one sentence.
- Describe your business in two words?
- Describe your business in one word?
- What doesn’t your business do, or do well?
- What differentiates your business from competitors?
- How did you start the company?
- Is there a story that is unique to your company? Or perhaps a unique story to the company name?
General Image of Company
- If your company/brand was a person who would it be? Why?
- If your company/brand was an object what would it be? Why?
- If your company/brand was an animal which one would it be? Why?
- Is there an important object, building or person for your business?
- What do you normally wear to work?
- How do you want the public to perceive your image?
- What do you want to be famous for?
- What words should the general public associate your business with? Name at least 3.
- What aspect of your image needs improvement? How do you want your image to be seen in 2 years? 10 years?
- Who are your competitors?
- How are they better/worse than your product/service?
- Who might you compete with in the future?
The Target Audience
- Who is your customer? Describe in detail. What do they do? What do they watch?
- Who is the ideal customer?
- What customers do you want to attract that you aren’t getting yet?
- If your customer was a cartoon character who would it be?
- How do they find out about you?
- What do they want from you?
- What customers do you not want to attract?
- Do you have an identity?
- What do you like about it and what do you not like about it?
- Why are you commissioning a new website?
- List the business objectives of your website.
- How will you know if it is a success?
- What aspects of your current site work well and why are they successful?
- What aspects of your current site are unsuccessful and why do you think that is?
- If you update your current site using a content management system, please describe the system and its main features. Are you happy with the system?
- Why will people use this kind of site?
- Why will people choose your site over others?
- What will people want to do on the site?
- List websites of competitors in a related field; what works and what doesn’t?
- List websites you like the aesthetics of and explain why.
- Outline any ideas you may have for the site. How would these features support your business goals and the goals of your user?
- If you need a content management system, please describe the features you would like.
Don’t forget to make sure to ask the client if there is anything that was left out that they would like to add to the brief. A lot of these questions can be condensed into single questions, and some are more useful than others. But remember one thing: The more information you have on the project and the client, the better experience it will be for both parties.