Website Design Questionnaires: How to Write One and What Questions to Ask
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Whether you are a freelance web designer or work for an agency, when it comes to working with a new web design client, it’s vital that you take some time to learn about them and what they’re looking for.
The last thing you want is to start investing your time and energy into a project only to find out later you aren’t on the same page.
One of the ways you can get inside the head of your client and discover what they want is by creating a website design questionnaire and asking them to complete it.
In this article, you’ll learn what a website design questionnaire is, what questions you should be asking your clients, and how to write your next web design questionnaire.
We’ll also provide you with a few questionnaire samples to help get you started.
What is the purpose of a website design questionnaire?
A website design client questionnaire is a survey that designers and developers ask clients to fill out to gather information about their company and what they want out of a new website.
This survey is where you’ll gather all of the information you’ll need about the client and project, such as their preferences, timeline, and budget.
The design client questionnaire is an integral part of the process because it helps to make sure everyone is on the same page.
As a designer, you might be able to look at a client’s website and guess what they need. But having them tell you ensures you’re on the right track.
Using a website questionnaire helps to avoid conflicts later. The last thing you want is to make it halfway through the project, only to find out you were off-base about a critical part of what your client wanted.
Another benefit for the designer is that the questionnaire helps to weed out bad clients.
Surely we’ve all been in a situation where a client is difficult to work with. Maybe it’s that they have no idea what they want, but reject all of your suggestions. It could also be that they’re just plain rude. A questionnaire can help to weed out those problematic clients.
First, if the client does not cooperate on the questionnaire, there’s a good chance they may not be cooperative later. Similarly, if they are rude or hostile on the questionnaire, that’s another sign they may not be the client for you.
Finally, the design questionnaire can help to set expectations on both sides of the designer-client relationship.
It sets expectations on your end because you’ll discover what your client wants out of the project. It also sets expectations for the client as to what goes into website creation and what they can expect to get for a particular price point.
What questions should a web designer ask a client?
Now that you know what a web design client questionnaire is and why you need one, let’s talk about what you should include.
You want to ensure you’re covering all of your bases and getting all the information you’ll need for the project. Here’s a list of questions to consider.
Tell us about your company.
First up, you want to get to know your client’s company. You’ll start with the basics, such as your client’s name (or their company name) and their contact information.
In addition to gathering the basic information, ask your client what their company does. Start by asking about the company’s background and business model and then dive into the products or services they offer.
Make sure you understand their mission and their values.
Who is your target audience?
After asking about your client’s company, it’s time to ask about their target demographic. Your client should already know who their customers are. Find out about the target audience’s gender, age, occupations, interests, etc.
This information will help to guide your branding and content decisions as you build the website. After all, to help your client convert their target audience into customers, you have to know who that audience is.
What makes your company unique?
Every company should have a unique selling proposition (USP) — This is what sets them apart from their competition. In other words, what makes customers buy from them instead of somebody else?
Your client’s USP is something you’ll want to be sure to include on their website whenever possible.
Do you currently have a website?
Before diving into the new website that your client wants, take some time to learn about their current set up.
Only 64% of small businesses report having a website, so it’s entirely possible that you’re helping them to set up their first website.
If they do already have a site and want a website redesign, take some time to learn about it. Ask the client why they chose their current website and what they like about it. Even if your client is asking for a new site, it could be that they want to keep some of their current website components.
What do you want out of your new website?
Ask the client what they want from their website and why.
Are they an e-commerce company that needs to be able to make sales from their website? Are they a service-based business and want to use their website to build awareness about their services?
Be sure to ask them the goal of potential customers visiting the site. In a scenario where a customer lands on the website, where does the client want them to end up?
It could be that they want to make a sale, or it could be that they want to get their email address through a landing page so they can contact them later.
This information will help you to determine what pages and what features the website needs to include. Possible features could consist of:
- E-commerce website
- Landing pages with email sign-up
- A blog page
- Responsive WordPress theme
- Social media marketing integration
- A contact form
- About me page
- Video streaming
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Google analytics connectivity
What visual elements do you want to be included on your site?
After talking about the client’s goals for their new website, ask them more specifically about what visual and design elements they want. The client may already have branding such as fonts, colors, or a logo that they want to keep.
In this section of the questionnaire, ask the client to share links to a few websites they like the aesthetic of so you can figure out what their style is.
What’s your budget?
The budget is one of the most significant sticking points when it comes to website design. More than a quarter of small businesses cite cost as the reason they haven’t invested in their website.
You have to get on the same page about the budget. It could be the case that the client can’t afford your work or that what they’re asking for is too extensive for the price they’re willing to pay.
This section could also be your opportunity to educate your client on why a website is worth the investment and what the possible return could be.
Tips for using a web design questionnaire
Let’s talk about a few additional tips for writing and using your questionnaire.
First of all, one thing to keep in mind as you’re writing your questionnaire is to avoid questions that are too open-ended.
If your client doesn’t know how to answer the question, they won’t.
For items that are open to interpretation, you could include an example answer to help guide them.
Another helpful strategy is to use an online tool for your questionnaire.
First, this makes it easy for your client to receive and fill out. Having to hand-write their answers can be frustrating on the client’s part (and on yours, if they have poor hand-writing).
Using a digital survey tool also makes it incredibly simple for you to access and digest their answers. Rather than having to dig through files or emails, you can open a single tool that holds the questionnaires for each potential client.
Here are some tools you can use for your questionnaire:
After your client returns the questionnaire, it can be helpful to sit down with your client (in person or via video chat or phone) to talk through their answers.
There’s plenty of room for miscommunication through text, and talking through the responses together is an excellent way to avoid that.
This conversation is also your chance to bring up any questions you might have.
Website design questionnaire samples
Web Design Questionnaire Example #1: Start with the basics
When you’re taking on a new design client, it’s important to take some time to get to know your client — This includes basic information about them such as their name, business name, and how long they’ve been in business.
The sample above shows a section of a questionnaire where the designer is getting this basic information from their client.
Web Design Questionnaire Example #2: Get an idea of your client’s tastes
Many clients have a challenging time putting into words what their design tastes are. They know what they like when they see it, but they can’t necessarily describe it to you.
One great way to get an idea of your client’s tastes is by asking them to point you to other websites they like.
They can point out specific things they like, and you, as the designer, will start to notice common themes.
Web Design Questionnaire Example #3: Learn about your client’s goals
You can’t dive into a design project until you understand what your client’s goals are with their new site.
In the example above, the questionnaire includes an entire section where clients can indicate what their goals are with their new website.
The sample includes prefilled goals the client can choose from, as well as space where they can fill in other goals they have.
Most designers have run into a situation where there has been a miscommunication with a client.
You get halfway through (or worse — all the way through) a website project before discovering that you and the client aren’t on the same page at all.
These situations can be frustrating for a designer, but they’re also somewhat preventable. Sure, you always run the risk of a client changing their mind or not communicating well in the first place.
But when you have the right systems in place, you can help drastically reduce these occurrences.
Using a website design questionnaire is one of the best ways you can make sure you and your potential client are on the same page so that you can make it through the website design process smoothly.
Now that you know why you need a client questionnaire and what questions you should be asking your clients, you’re well on your way to getting yours started.