When dealing with different types of clients you can in the worst case scenario sometimes end up with something that is “wrong”. As clients are very different you should make yourself a list of questions that you make sure to ask them, in order to get the best possible end result.
Here is a list of questions you should consider asking. You may have heard this described by some as a design brief, while others set it up slightly differently. Call it what you want, but it can be a very important part of your project and the end results. As long as you find your own way of getting the information you need and don’t forget any vital points, you’re more likely to succeed.
Now let’s have a look!
What is the clients description of the project?
This is really important. Clients can have different perceptions of what should be included in a web design, a logo and so on. To make sure that you include everything in the offer and know how much time to spend with each project you need to get a mutual understanding of what should be included. This point is absolutely crucial!
Do you have all the client info you need?
Make sure that you have everything right, – from the spelling of the name and address to any other information that will be used at some point during the process. If there’s anything missing, the quicker you get it the better.
Do you need any files from the client?
If you’re making anything that includes pictures, logos or other files you may wanna make sure that you have everything at an early stage. Have the client list everything they want to be included and double-check that you have it.
What is the clients target market/demographic?
No matter what kind of job you’re doing, the target market is very important to keep in mind. This will be determining some of the choices you make during your project. The client will most likely be able to tell you what you need to know on this.
How does the client want to be perceived?
When you’re choosing a look for the design you’re creating you always want it to stand out as good quality work. Still it’s important to follow the clients vision and make their brand stronger and clearer when possible. This means that you need the client to tell you how they want the market to see them. Once they mention specific words that are important (quality, service, prices, luxury, availability, stylish and so on) you can take these words and make a design that outline them.
Company info and history
You can pick up a lot of valuable information from getting some more company info besides the product and service descriptions. Try to get some more basic information. A tip would be to read up on the available information that is already out there on their website if they have one, then use that information to come up with a few more questions to get a complete profile from your contact.
Are there any flagships? – introduction of services/products
Many business have one key service or product that is the bestseller or the core of their business. If you don’t have a lot of knowledge about this from before it can be really nice to get a proper presentation of the what your client has to offer. This will help you identify better with them and increase the chance of a succesful design.
Who are the competitors?
Find out who are their biggest competitors and have a look at them as well. This can be used to make a design that stands out in very streamlined niches and to make sure not to come up with anything too close to what already is out there from a design point of view.
To not start off with the wrong type of designs, you should ask if the client has any preferences. Maybe they hate yellow, love blue or absolutely want a specific font or graphic element included in what you’re designing. If you forget this point you could work a lot on designs that will be turned down due to color schemes and so on.
Client turnaround time
Make sure that you have a mutual agreement on how fast you can expect feedback during the project and how soon you can expect to get different elements that you will be in need of along the way. If you have a client that is away for the last week before a project is due, you have to plan this accordingly and make sure you have what you need before they leave – or get another person to contact.
A deadline sounds like a simple thing to agree upon but you really have to make sure that it can’t be misunderstood by either of you. I always give the clients on bigger projects an expected plan for the progress to help them understand the process better and to make sure we’re on the same page.
It’s never as easy as getting a task to do and do it. There are many factors involved in order to get a good end results and happy returning clients. To get the best possible start you should have a checklist to go through (like this one) and you will see that a lot of your time can be spent more effectively. Depending on what your business is you may want to alter some of this list, add some and remove some elements if they’re not relevant to you. The clients will immediately see you as a serious design provider and feel more comfortable, and you will have a more healthy work environment and feel more in charge.
As always, we would love to hear your feedback and your own tips in the comments.