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This is an important question because it s the first step towards getting to know your customer s business structure. It will help you assess the company s needs in terms of relative design, and it is also a gateway for strategic brainstorming.
For an online presence especially, reputation is everything. You want to design a site or logo that reflects the reputation of your clients business. If your clients reputation is having a hard time staying afloat due to negative feedback, then whatever you design for them either has the power to follow the same path, or attract positiveness. Also, does the company have a good reputation for satisfaction, quality, or timely service? These are all elements that affect the design.
This question will help you get a better idea of what the company comprises of. Is the typical customer foreign to the market your client targets? How does the client interact with its customers? Does the typical customer speak a different language? These questions are vital to the aesthetics and/or usability of your design. If you were designing a logo for example, and your clients typical customer doesn t speak your clients language, then you would have to make sure the logo is able to communicate effectively on a further level.
Different from what the typical customer is like, you must have a deep understanding of what audience your client is currently trying to target. Maybe their trying to steer away from their typical clients and move into a different niche, or your client is looking to redefine and expand their customer base, whether one or the other it doesn t matter, knowing exactly what audience your client is aiming to target is key to the development and success of your design.
Although this may have an obvious answer (if you ve done a fair amount of research) you should still ask this question to get a feel of what THE Client believes is their competition. More than likely they have a much better idea of who their competing with. Knowing your clients competitors will allow you to rule out any similarities between all of their existent designs. This will help you create a more unique and centric design for your client.
You don t want to come off as annoying or dependent of your client for your every move. This question will help you align with your clients wants and update them only when they want to be updated. Excessive updates can easily discourage a client from using your services in the future.
7. How Do You Envision the Finished Project?
If you re designing a website then it s important to ask your client what THEY intend to use their website for, and how they envision it will look like. What good would it do if you were to complete a project only to find out it doesn t do any of the things your client intended for it, or it doesn t behave the way your client had thought it would?
8. What Method of Payment Do You Use?
If you have no intentions of drawing up a contract before you begin the project, then it would be smart idea to ask your client to elaborate how they plan on paying you for your services. Maybe you only accept PayPal, but your client only pays by check. This could create severe problems if you don t agree on a method of payment before hand.
This question will help you analyze the quality of your skills and how well you re able to develop a design based on what your client needs. As you advance in your career, you ll have plenty of chance to improve your skills, this question will create a chance for you do just that.
Ask this question to avoid frustrations that can easily arise if a client believes they can abuse of you by excessively asking for changes and further revisions free of charge. If your client plans on having you heavily revise and make several changes to a project, then this question will allow you both to agree on a reasonable fee you may collect for additional services.
Usually when a designer completes a web design then they place a small link to their portfolio on their clients site. In no way or shape is your client obligated to agree to let you do this. However, since we know this is a great way for you to get some recognition and reach a wider audience, you should still ask your client if a link to your portfolio may be placed at the bottom or below the footer. Some clients may not allow you to place the link, but they may allow you to place who the site was designed by. (i.e. Site Designed By EXAMPLE)
Even though this is YOUR design and you have the right to display YOUR work within your portfolio, it s still common courtesy to ask if you can display your clients project for everyone to see. Some clients may be uneasy with this, however, by asking this question you may avoid headaches caused by your client. If any problems arise, you should inform your client that you have rights to your design because it is still your work, unless otherwise specified.
13. How Well Would You Rate My Services?
Similar to the question asking your client how satisfied they are with the results, this question will allow you to assess and improve the quality of your services. This plays an important role in the succession of your business.
Sometimes a client may have a few questions, but they may be scared or intimidated to ask you for personal and professional reasons. Whatever reason it may be, you should make your client aware that they can always come to you with any questions they may have. This alone could inspire the client to pursue your services for further projects in the future. Having a trust-worthy relationship between you and your client is one of the most important things you could accomplish.