Ok so you’ve just been approached by a client to design their website – good stuff! Well done on winning your next website design job! One of your first jobs is crucial to the success of the website design project – understanding the client’s need through a website design questionnaire.
Essentially, we need to manage to put ourselves in the thought processes of our client. Only by fully understanding their problems, fears, clients, goals, strengths, weaknesses, target demographics, products, services, competitors, unique selling points, brand, budget and so many other things can we ensure that this website design project is a success.
This is the purpose of the website design questionnaire. It asks the necessary pertinent questions to dig deeply into your client’s brains. It triggers the right emotions to get your client to open up and explain to you what you need to understand.
If you’ve already seen our 128 task website checklist, you know we like doing a great job with these checklists
So without further ado – let’s get right into it!
- Download the website design questionnaire
- Web design questionnaire Part 1: Tell us a bit about your company
- Let’s get down to business
- Website Questionnaire Part 2: What does the client want from this website design project?
- Website Questionnaire Part 3: Details about the actual website design per se
- Moving on to the pretty stuff: the actual web design
- Concluding the website design questionnaire: What happens post-launch?
- One last thing…
Download the website design questionnaire
If you want you can download the website design questionnaire in Word (.docx) or PDF format.
Let’s go through the questions we have in the web design questionnaire and the reasons why we are pitching these questions to our web design client.
Hey there, web designer! Can we please stop you for a moment?
Want this website questionnaire built right into your web design project?
What if you could just send this questionnaire as a list of tasks to your client. Rather than toing and froing with emails and documents, you can rope in your client directly into your project.
Our 3SixT5 tool has this website design questionnaire built right in.
Just select the questions you want to ask your client
Once you’ve chosen the questions you want to ask the client, you can invite them to the project so that you can collaborate directly on the tasks with the client.
Why don’t you have a look and see whether it can help you manage your web design projects better?
Let’s get started!
Web design questionnaire Part 1: Tell us a bit about your company
We will be digging quite deeply further on in the website design questionnaire, so to warm up the client slowly, we’re going to ease into the questions but asking for a few simple contact details.
Incidentally, did you know that a real address is not just for building trust with your clients, it also builds trust with search engines? For SEO purposes, a website which has a real address associated with it typically ranks higher than websites which have no physical presence.
We’ll have to include these details in the contact forms or about us of the web design project, so might as well get them out of the way.
- Company name
The exact name of the company, including abbreviations
such as Ltd., Inc., Limited, Gmbh, or any other.
- Address + Postal Code
You’ll be having this on the Contact Us form. If you plan to include a Google Map (you should),
you’ll want to know the exact business address.
- Phone numbers
Once again these are essential pieces of about, Contact us and potentially sales pages
- Email address
The client might want to expose their email addresses or not. It’s usually good practice to have an email address that people can use to get in touch, though do try to implement spam protections.
Both on the web
site and on the actual inbox itself.
- Tell us what your company does
Next on our list of questions is a pretty obvious one. Or not. Regardless of whether you know the company well or not, it’s good to ask this question early in the website design questionnaire because this can set the “tone” for the rest of the answers. It is the reference point for the web design project itself – so ask it early and leave as much space as necessary for the client to say it like it is.
Let’s get down to business
- Do you have a URL for your business?
The client may already have bought a domain they like, the name of their business, or a product name or service they offer. There’s plenty you can learn from this simple question.
- Do you need us to buy your domain?
We recommend you handle domains for the client and charge them for it. This ensures domains don’t expire, you are in control of the name servers and other details. You’ll also have a bit of leverage, but let’s not focus on that
- What’s your deadline for this project?
Let’s set some realistic expectations of time for both of us. You can see whether the web design project is realistically feasible in this deadline. You can also understand whether the client values the effort involved in the project.
- Could you give us a ballpark figure for your available budget for the website project?
Money talks! Another very important question in the website design questionnaire. This also sets lots of expectations. If it’s a new client and they’re not aware of your rates, you can here make a judgment whether you want to chase this job or not. The budget assigned to the website design project can also help you understand the importance of the website to the client.
Website Questionnaire Part 2: What does the client want from this website design project?
The next section of the client website design questionnaire will help us understand exactly what the client is after with this website. Rather than giving the client free text, we now give them options or checkboxes for them to tick.
As you can see from the questions, the answer to these questions will determine the priority to give to specific potential features of the website project. The answers to these questions will determine the scope of development (if any) is required,
- I want this site because
- I need to build awareness for my brand
Brand awareness is a fundamental need for most clients. There is also an opportunity for more business if you are an agency especially if the client does not give brand awareness much importance.
- I need to offer a contact point for my clients
With so much searching being done online, a website may be the first point of contact for a significant and ever-growing portion of clients. Besides the obvious ways of getting in touch, such as phone and email, newer ways of contact are emerging such as chats.
- I need my company to have a better image online
This means a lot. It probably means their existing image is not good, so you might be in for a lot of cleaning up. You might want to do a little bit deeper into this question. There might also have been history with a bad designer in the past. This website design question is more important than it looks.
- I need to sell my product or service through my site
There is a quite a leap in functionality (and effort involved) between a site which is a “showcase” versus a site which actually handles “selling”. Whether this is a shop, online ordering of services, appointment taking, or otherwise – this is something which you need to know before you actually quote the client.
- I need to accept bookings or appointments online
Continuing on the previous item, there are plenty of service-based industries which will use their website as a booking-mechanism to allow customers to schedule appointments online. In this case, you’ll need to factor in the setup of such stuff as WooCommerce and an appointments or bookings plugin. Collectiveray has an excellent article on choosing the right plugin for this case.
- I need it to build customer loyalty
Everybody wants their clients to come back for repeat business, so we need to build in methods to keep visitors coming back for more.
- I need to reach people in many languages
Another which will have an impact on the feature set and setup of the site, so you’ll need to know beforehand if this website project is going to be multi-lingual
- I need somewhere to promote my latest product / service
Most customers are going to be needing this for sure. However, if it’s a new product or service which needs to be promoted together with others which they already have, this is going to have to have a few thoughts around it specifically.
- I have my own reasons
There could be other reasons which we have not listed above. Allow your client to explain what they need to get out of this web design project – and hence why you should put this in your client questionnaire and allow the client to get it all out.
- I need to build awareness for my brand
- My clients come to me because
This question helps to dig out a few unique selling points which you may want to use in the copy and design of this website design project. Whether it’s quality, price, after sales service, you’ll want to know what you’ll need to pitch.
- Excellent service on offer
- We sell the best products on the market
- We have the best prices on the market
- Visitor and customer demographic
Another website design question which will influence much of your design is the question about the visitor demographic. A site for kids and teens is different from a site for adults, which is different from a site for fitness fanatics, which is different from a site for techies, which is different from a site for grandmas. You get the idea. Visitor demographics is an extremely important question. Besides influencing the design choices, it will affect the features available, the user experience, the complexity of the site features, the look and feel. The more you get to know about the visitor demographic – the better for the end result.
- My site will be built to target (age)
- Kids and teens
- Youths in their 20s
- People in their 30s
- In their 40s
- In their 50
- Senior citizens
- My site will be built to target (gender)
- My site will be built to target (income), expand as necessary
- Not employed
- My site will be built to target (education), expand as necessary
- Completed secondary or upper-secondary
- Tertiary education
- My site will be built to target (geography)
- Local (town / city)
- National (Country)
- My site will be built to target people with a specific occupation.
- Expand as necessary and describe any other visitor demographics you wish to target
- My site will be built to target (age)
- Do you want to expand your target audience in a specific direction?
After we understood the existing visitor and customer demographic, our website design questionnaire continues with figuring out which additional demographic or direction we want to increase or improve upon. Once, again, quite a critical question, because the copy and most of the elements of the site need to shift slightly towards this direction. This is because you don’t want to alienate your existing customers and audience. At the same time, you need to make sure you get your client results with this website design project.
- Someone’s searching the web for your business.
What words or phrases will they search for in Google?
This is just dumbing down the concept of SEO, keyword research, and understanding what the client perceives to be the keywords describing their clients or services. Keyword research starts from the phrases your client currently ranks for and would like to rank for, though of course, eventually, you’ll have to see which ones are good ranking candidates. Give the client plenty of space where to write these down. Try to use this question to nail down and target at least 20 keywords or key phrases to focus on. They will be your starting point. Don’t mention SEO, you’re bound to open a can of worms! If they are not aware of the right money keywords with buying intent, you’re going to need to help them find them.
- What is it that makes your or services unique on the market?
When you are competing with other products, the unique selling points of a product or service is usually the one which is able to make or break a sale. Dig these out from the client questionnaire, so that you can be sure they feature strongly on the site. They WILL make a significant difference.
- Do you have any proof that your solutions are better than your competitors?
We’re not suggesting your client is exaggerating their claims. But having such things as client testimonials, excellent feedback from clients, real product comparisons or product reviews, or other proof of excellence will go a long way towards supplementing your sales copy.
Website Questionnaire Part 3: Details about the actual website design per se
The client might come with their own ideas, style, desires or needs for this website design project, so you’ll need to see what they want as part of the questions in the website design questionnaire. Of course, we do believe we designers should be the ones to make the recommendations.
However, you don’t need to take this personally. When you go to an architect you do tell them whether you’d like two or three bedrooms, an ensuite bathroom or a walk-in wardroom. Doesn’t really make you an architect does it?
Take these questions as guidelines of what this web design project should have. It also gauges the client’s proficiency on the web. This makes it easier for you to figure out how to best communicate with them. It also helps to gauge what quantity of development time will be required.
Let’s get on with the next set of questions in this website design questionnaire for clients. These should be checkboxes so that the user can select as many of them as they would like.
- Our new website would need to include
- A basic HTML site
- An HTML5/CSS3 website
- Responsive design for use of desktops, tablets, and mobile
- A WordPress based CMS
- An Online Magazine
- An Online forum
- A blog
- A premium theme (see here for examples)
- A newsletter or email list system
- Social network integration
- An intranet system
- Separate, dedicated landing / sales pages, or microsites – ideally you get a fixed number
- A redesign of the current website
- Additional requirements
- We want the following special features to be included in our new website
- Registration form
- Video streaming
- MySQL database
- Search functionality
- Multi-column layout
- Newsletter / email sign-up forms with appropriate calls to action
- Information / request forms
- Uploads / downloads
- Customer login
- An online store / shopping cart
- Online payment gateway
- Blog module
- Image gallery
- Image slider
- Other features
- Who will be providing these resources?
Another crucial question for the website design questionnaire. This will make sure you don’t suddenly discover that you need to provide all the media, the photography, imagery, all the content, logo, text and everything else in between without having catered for them in your quotation. This sets the expectations of both the resources which need to be provided, the work required and effort involved and simply makes sure the content will be there when it is needed. The best is to set up checkboxes, whether the client or you will be taking care of the specific item.
- Stock photography
- Company photography
- Other artwork / illustrations
- Translation (including any costs)
- Copywriting texts
- Professional logo
- Graphic design
- Other print collateral
- Meta tags / descriptions
- Font licenses
- Other media
Moving on to the pretty stuff: the actual web design
- Does your company have a logo/established image & branding guidelines (e.g. fonts, colour schemes etc)? – If these are provided, so much the better for you, you’ll just need to make sure you conform to the brand guidelines provided to you. If not, you are going to have more work, designs proofs and approvals to iterate on, so better cater for this in advance.
- Do you have print materials and media (such as business cards or brochures) that we need to match? – Similar to brand guidelines, you need to make sure you’re in sync with any other materials they already have, of course, unless you have agreed to do otherwise beforehand. Of course, this is best to have in writing, hence why this is a good question to have in the web design client questionnaire.
Concluding the website design questionnaire: What happens post-launch?
Of course, we always are of the opinion that a web design project is only the start of an ongoing working relationship. Let’s set the tone for this now.
- Would you like us to update your site or would you like to be responsible for posting news and updates?
If you can sell ongoing blogging updates, so much the better for you. Try to get a support and maintenance agreement in place. Who will be providing and renewing the hosting account? Who will handle the domain renewal? See if you can get an SEO management contract if possible!
- How often do you require updates and new articles?
Again, this allows you to quote beforehand, or set up a maintenance and updates agreement as necessary
- Would like us to handle and support other digital marketing aspects for you?
Let’s upsell some additional services
- Social network management and social media
- Search engine optimization (SEO) and link building
- Content marketing
- Email list management
- Would you like to book a dedicated training session for your employees to learn to update the site?
A website delivered without training is an accident waiting to happen – you don’t want all your hard work going up in a puff of digital smoke as soon as the client takes over the running of the site. A few training sessions are always recommended.
Want this website questionnaire and plenty of more web design “preset” tasks in a web design project tool?
So you’re a web designer huh? If you’re like us, you’d rather be designing and creating than managing your projects or your clients. Yet, if you’ve experienced the brunt of an irate client, you’ll know that projects should probably be managed.
3SixT5 Design is a web design project management tool, for people like you and us. People who rather be creating great websites, yet still require a bit of a small tool to help them out.
Check out 3SixT5 here and see whether it can make your life easier too. We’ve built this for us (and for people like us), so we think you’ll love it!