Time to read: 3 minutes.
Before I can give a client an accurate quote for a job, I will almost always need to ask a number of questions.
These give me various bits of information, both literal and otherwise.
Generally they allow me to determine whether you have a good idea of what you're looking for, how much you've thought about it and how much you value the design process.
They also allow me to get more detail about what the project will involve, who your users are and other crucial bits and pieces.
Yes, this is a long list of questions, some more difficult than others, but the more information I can get from you about your project to begin with, the better I'll know if I can provide you with what you're looking for and a solid return on your investment.
Here are the questions:
These are some basics, to give me an overview of your company.
- What is the business name?
- Where are you based?
- What does your business / product do?
- What problem do you solve for your customers?
- Who are your main competitors (and what do you like or dislike about their offering)?
- What sets you apart from your competitors?
- Is there a unique story behind your business or brand identity?
- Can you share 5 adjective or words that best describe your company?
- What are your long-term business goals?
These are more project specific questions which will get to the bottom of your project requirements.
- Who will be my main point of contact?
- Who has final signoff on design, copy or any other decicisons?
- Have you worked with any designers in the past?
- What key goals do you have for this project?
- How will you measure the success of this project?
- Is there anything that would prevent the project from being successful?
- What would happen if the project didn't go ahead?
- What deliverables are you expecting for the project?
- Do you have any current deadlines in place (if so, what determines the deadline)?
- Are there any points during the forseeable future, when you will not be available?
- Why is your project happening now? What was the catalyst?
- Do you have any online or offline marketing plans for the project when it's completed?
- Is there any part of working with me or on this project that you're concerned about?
These are necessary questions about the money side of things. Best to deal with them up front.
- Are you registered for VAT?
- Who will deal with the financials?
- What is your budget for this project? (generally I don't work with budgets under €1000)
The crucial elements of your business or project always involve the user, so they need to be discussed as soon as possible.
- Who is your ideal user or customer?
- What primary message do you want to convey to your customers?
- Have you done any user-profiling or persona creation?
- Do you have any feedback or market research from or about your users?
- How do your customers currently view your company? (How do you know?)
If the project involves a website, then these questions become relevant.
- Do you have a current website? What's the URL?
- Do you have both FTP and admin access to the hosting system?
- Do you have access to the domain hosting?
- Do you have access to analytics for the site?
- Do you currently have a CMS (Content Management System)?
- Do you have any current brand guidelines?
- What are the shortcomings of your current site? Why is it not working at the moment?
- Are there any other websites which you like elements of?
- Are there any other websites which you don't like? Why?
- Can you share 5 adjectives or words that best describe your desired website?
- What one key thing do you want your users to do when they visit your site?
- Are there any other supplementary things you would like your users to do on the site?
- Do you have any specific feature requirements at this stage?
If the project involves a brand identity, then these questions become relevant.
- Do you have a current brand identity? Where can I see it?
- Do you have any current brand guidelines?
- What are the shortcomings of your current brand identity? Why is it not working at the moment?
- Are there any other brand identities or logos which you like elements of?
- Are there any other brand identities or logos which you don't like? Why?
- Can you share 5 adjectives or words that best describe your desired brand identity?
- How do you want your users to feel when they make contact with your brand identity?
- Where do you plan to use your new brand identity? How big or small could the logo get?
- Will you be registering your company name as a trademark?
Generally any project will have some level of copy or content, so it should also be mentioned.
- Who will be responsible for writing and editing the copy?
- How early in the project process will you be able to provide the final content?