Designing a website has become a common thing these days. According to stats, more than 1500 new websites appear each day; and this demand is growing. Web design agencies face the true challenge of satisfying these needs.
To make matters worse, creating a website still remains a challenging task. It is a long and complicated process that implies all sorts of work, such as competition analysis, prototyping, designing, coding, content writing, testing, deployment, and further maintenance. It takes months of grueling work and tight collaboration with the client. That is where a website design questionnaire can make life a whole lot easier.
Website design questionnaire for clients defines every aspect of future development and sets the work down the right direction. Let us find out why it is the best option for creating a productive working flow, what to include inside and how to create one using helpful third-party instruments.
First things first.
What Is a Website Design Questionnaire?
Whatever project you are going to take, everything could easily go wrong if you did not ensure a solid foundation to build on. When it comes to website design, this means you need to nail the first interview with your client and get all the necessary information for the future project.
A website design questionnaire is a survey explicitly created for potential customers. It aims to draw a general picture of the future project and give insights into clients' expectations, demands, and requirements. It helps professional website agencies to understand better
- company's ideology and philosophy,
- business goals and overall marketing strategy,
- unique selling proposition,
- target market,
- the scope of the work that should be done,
- the budget,
- and other important factors.
It is similar to the website design brief and web design checklist, but they are still not the same. It has its purpose and makes an invaluable contribution to the website design process, underlying a solid base for future projects and collaboration. Let us consider why the website design questionnaire is important and needed for every web design agency and every web project.
Why Is the Website Design Questionnaire Important?
Asking your clients the right questions, much like asking website designer interview questions, is the time-proven way to understand the person better. It is a key to fruitful collaboration and a result that exceeds expectations and demands. They help to
- define clear goals for the project;
- determine company's ideology and values;
- understand the target market;
- define the model for partnership;
- create comfortable communication and collaboration;
- avoid confusion between clients and agency;
- minimize the chance of miscommunication;
- avoid rounds of revision requests;
- avoid unexpected costs;
- uncover pitfalls;
- drill down into specifics;
- understand what functionality to add;
- understand what design and styles to implement;
- create optimal user experience;
- outline the scope of work;
- clarify the deliverables upfront;
- sell additional services that may be beneficial for your clients in the future;
- understand the shift in respondents' choices;
- stay organized;
- guide the client along the way;
- set realistic deadlines;
- draw up a budget;
- save lots of time for you and your client since you can gather a lot of data pretty quickly;
- filter out bad clients;
- enhance the credibility of the company.
Last but not least, a website design survey is an excellent way to help clients understand what they actually need. As we all know, all the customers come with an outlandish idea and a blurred vision of the final result. Only after asking a series of leading questions, website design agency can create order out of chaos, get to the bones of the problem, connect the dots, and structure the desires and expectations of the client, getting both sides on the same page.
Being on the same page helps to lay a solid foundation for strong and healthy relationships between the company and the customer, turn collaboration into a productive and enjoyable pastime, and, most importantly, deliver a website that meets all the requirements, needs and demands of the client.
On top of that, it also helps the agency leave a positive impression and establish themselves as trustworthy partners who care about their clients, placing their interests first. This builds reputation, makes the company stand out from the crowd, and generates more clients in the future.
What to Include in Website Design Questionnaire for Clients?
A good web design survey includes two sets of questions. The first one is general; the second one is client-specific. However, suppose you intend to pass it on to unfamiliar clients, expecting the second in-person meeting. In that case, the first batch is more than enough to draw the general picture, eliminate bad clients and understand whether you are ready to embark on this new adventure or not.
Therefore, let us consider the 16 most crucial questions that you need to ask your clients.
Part 1 – It is all about your client
Question #1 – Tell Us About Your Company
The answer to this question should uncover the company's ideology, vision, mission, and values. It will give you hints on the personality, background, and experience of the CEO and the company. Are they a serious well-established organization that is up to a traditional project with time-tested functionality and neutral design? Or are they young, ambitious, and daring startups or even standalone artists chasing extravagant solutions and ultra-modern features in design and style to make a powerful statement?
Understanding the personality of the company is vital to meet the expectations in the end.
Question #2 – What Your Company Does?
You can be a bit more specific here and guide your clients to the required answer by extending the question with "What is your niche?" and "What products or services do you offer?"
The answer to this question helps understand the client's business and what marketing campaigns will be run on the website. It will give you hints on
- what type of website does your client need;
- what pages to include;
- what functionality to add;
- what SEO to introduce;
- what usability features to include;
- what kind of user experience to introduce;
- how accessible the interface needs to be;
- and even what color scheme, visuals, and design feature to consider as the primary options.
Question #3 – What Makes Your Company Unique?
To avoid misunderstanding, extend this question with "What is your unique selling point?"
The answer to this question uncovers a unique selling proposition, unique value proposition, and most importantly, the strength and competitive advantage of the company. It suggests tactical moves that should be done to produce the website that stands the competition, achieves the primary goal, and ensures financial success.
It can also become a central theme of the project around which you will build design, functionality, user experience, SEO, and marketing strategy.
Question #4 – What Is Your Target Market?
Although it can be obvious from the previous questions, since niche, company's ideology and services are closely connected to the target audience. Nevertheless, you never know what your client is after with this new project. After all, every business seeks ways to extend its target market. Therefore, this question is obligatory.
The target market gives you cues on such essential aspects as SEO, design, and technical side of the project. If you have an in-house marketing team, it may say a lot to them as well. They can offer extra functionality like integration with email service providers to run email marketing campaigns or pop-up builders to introduce incentives to compel visitors to convert into leads.
On top of that, the target audience determines such details as design features, language, tone, atmosphere, user experience, usability, accessibility, and even approach to building the website. For instance, should it be the mobile-first approach to target Generation Z and Generation Alpha who cannot live without their cell phones? Or should it be a responsive approach to meet the needs of Millennials and Generation X, who prefer desktops and laptops?
Last but not least, the target audience implies the enforcement of necessary components to meet the country's regulations and laws, like adding cookie banners to making the website GDPR compliant.
Question #5 – Who Are Your Competitors?
Analyzing the competition is a vital stage in website development. It helps to identify potential opportunities and build a strategy to improve upon your rivals.
It offers so much insight. For instance, it gives clues to SEO specialists, marketing specialists, designers, and even content writers.
Question #6 – Why Are Your Customers Visiting Your Website?
The answer to this question uncovers the expectations of the target market. Although the company may have several goals for its new project, meeting the target market's demands is always a top priority. Therefore, understanding the behavior and expectations of visitors is vital to deliver the best result.
With this information, you will create an effective strategy and determine ways to bring everything to life. For example, you may get insights on where to place call-to-actions, what functionality to add (for example, chatbots or instant access to support team), how to build hero area, what pages should be accessible right away, etc.
Question #7 – Do You Have Branding Guidelines?
The website does not exist in a vacuum. It is an integral part of the brand. Therefore, you need to work with the corporate identity. This gives insights on what color scheme, fonts, styles, and even tone to use in the new project to increase brand awareness, contribute to the overall brand identity, and hit harmony.
Question #8 - Do You Have Concerns or Worries About the New Project?
The answer to this question suggests how to make the collaboration productive, beneficial, and comfortable for both sides. After all, the success of this venture depends on a close partnership.
Use this answer to prepare the ground for an in-personal interview and address all the issues and concerns, laying a solid foundation for your relationships.
Question #9 – How to Communicate with You?
All clients are different. Some of them prefer email correspondence, while others pay a visit to the agency each other day. It is crucial to understand what type of communication and control your client expects.
- How involved do you want to be?
- How often can we reach you?
- What is the best way to reach you?
- What are alternative ways to reach you?
Answers to these questions may help organize the working flow, avoid delays in feedbacks and revisions and keep the pace to meet the deadline.
Part 2 - It is all about the project
Question #10 – What Is Your Goal?
So, now we are talking. The time has come to get down to business and gain an understanding of what your client needs.
First and foremost, you should realize the mission of this new project. Does your client want to extend their target market, increase brand awareness, improve online reputation, build a fans base, sell products, or improve their services by adding 24/7 support or AI assistants?
The goal of the project underlies everything. It sets the vector for development. With a detailed answer, you can figure out
- what functionality to add;
- what structure and information architecture client will need;
- what design and styles to favor;
- what features to include;
- what visuals to introduce;
- what user experience to create.
It also gives you hints on the scope of work that should be done. If your client wants to get higher placement in Google, you need to involve your in-house SEO team. If your client forages for high conversions and warm leads, you need to involve the marketing team. That means extra time and money.
Question #11 - Do You Want to Build a New Website or Redesign the Old One?
We are getting closer to the project's specifications and requirements that are crucial for the team to estimate how much work awaits.
Both these tasks come with their pitfalls. Sometimes, it can be much easier to build everything from scratch rather than redesign the old website.
Depending on the answer, you may ask some other questions to clarify the situation and narrow down the problem.
Therefore, if it is necessary, shed light on such burning issues as:
- How long ago was the website built?
- How was the website built?
- What website builders did you use?
- What does underlie the website?
- Does some kind of CMS power it?
- Does the website have a backend?
Question #12 – What Features Do You Want to Include in the Website?
You may clarify this question by adding, "What functionality or design elements may help you succeed?"
Answer to this question prepares the ground for future brief and get the notion of what your client expects from this collaboration and upcoming project.
Even if an answer seems obvious, you still need to put this question because there can be some tiny details, unique demands, and preferences that may change everything. Even the simple request of adding a contact form may raise some additional questions and cause some changes in the layout and information structure. For instance,
- What is the goal of this contact form? Should it be a quick way to reach the support team? Should it be placed right on the hero area, in the footer across the entire website, or on a single page?
- What kind of information should this form bring to the client? Should it be a simple two-field form or a comprehensive 2-step form?
- Who will use this form? What features should it have to provide a comfortable interaction? What design to implement?
- Does it need to be accessible by people who use screen readers or a keyboard?
- Should it have a "Thank You" note or page?
Although you can get into details lately, you should estimate the potential scope of work and define the project's complexity. Getting the list of features that your client wants on the website may provide you with the necessary information to move on.
Question #13 – What Is the Vision of Your Website?
While the previous question was mainly about the functionality, this one concerns the design and user experience of the project.
So, what platform does your client want to see in the end? How should it feel? What impression should it make?
The answer to this question helps your design and usability teams to get down the right direction and create templates and visuals that not just perfectly blend into the overall corporate identity and support the content but, most importantly, provide a comfortable environment for the target market and meet the expectations of the client.
It is essential to ask your client to provide links to the websites they like because we all have different interpretations of general terms, especially when it comes to web design slang. These samples will give you a clear vision of what does your client need and mean under general phrases like "beautiful design," "impressive header," or "bold statement."
Question #14 - What Do You Determine as Success?
This question is tricky, and you need to read between the lines here since the answer gives you hints on what additional services your client may need.
To make this block more productive, you can add such questions as:
- Do you want to rank high?
- Do you want to increase organic traffic?
- Do you want to drive traffic from social media?
- Do you need content?
- Do you want to run email campaigns?
- Do you want to increase conversions?
- Do you need ongoing support and maintenance?
Part 3 – It is all about budget and timeline
Question #15 – What Is the Deadline?
The launch date is a decisive factor for the client and design agency. If it is impossible to meet, it is better to back off and keep your reputation clean. Otherwise, you can charge more for the strict deadline.
Also, the launch date helps you decide on a timeline.
Question #16 - What Is Your Budget?
Finally, let's talk business and discuss finances. Although this subject is sensitive, it should be done straight away to weed out bad clients or those who cannot afford your rates.
Answers to the previous questions may outline the general picture and future expenses. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how much your client is willing to pay. Maybe they can extend their budget more, or you need to go for some low-cost solutions like website builders or themes.
Tools to Create Questionnaire for Website Design
A website design questionnaire is nothing more than just a list of questions and blank spaces for answers. It looks like a survey or form. Depending on your preferences, you may create it in two ways:
- Traditional text documents. You can use Microsoft Word, Pages, or whatever word processing and document creation software you have and love. Things to remember:
- Stick to uniform design and standardization.
- Maintain equal spacing between response options.
- Use formatting to structure the document.
Check out Rob Cubbon with free PDF and .doc templates.
- Online forms. Although online forms can be a bit problematic to create and customize, they are more comfortable for your clients to use. Let's consider some popular tools to build survey-like online forms.
Online Forms to Build Website Design Questionnaire
Google forms are one of the most popular tools among web design agencies. They are simple, friendly, and free. All it takes to get started is an account in Google.
Among its main features are
- collection of pre-defined question options such as dropdowns, multiple choices, etc.,
- a handy panel to add your photos, images, or YouTube videos,
- customization panel to set theme, color, and font,
- question skip logic,
- teammate collaboration.
Survio is not as popular as Google forms, but still, it is a viable alternative. It was designed to free web developers' hands and provide them with a quick tool to create online questionnaires with a clean and neat design of any scale. Again, it is simple, intuitive, and feature-rich.
It comes with an intuitive 3-step wizard, 500+ templates and elegant design, mobile-friendly layouts, and survey dashboard statistics to mull over the responses.
The great thing is, it has a flexible pricing system, including a free plan for small-scale projects.
Jotform is a powerful, time-tested online form builder with a vast community and 24/7 support. You can quickly create any form you like and customize it with advanced styling options to fit your brand and clients.
The great thing is, it comes with 550+ questionnaire templates and examples that are ready to go. Pick the preferable option, customize it in a drag-and-drop form builder and publish it on your website.
Some say Contentshare is much easier to handle than Google Docs. All we can say, it is a great solution to create forms and collect responses in a hassle-free manner.
The key feature of this instrument is that it allows visitors to abandon their questionnaires and return to them without losing precious progress.
As for creating a survey for your customers, the process is straightforward and stress-free. Just use the builder to assemble the form and publish it on your website in several clicks.
General Practices for Creating a Good Questionnaire
Whatever method you favor, follow these tips to make the website design questionnaire productive and unobtrusive.
- Do not let your survey get too long.
- Employ closed-ended questions.
- Stay away from double-barreled questions.
- Use simple language.
- Use positive language.
- Avoid the tech jargon and slang.
- Group questions by topic.
- Avoid using grids or matrices.
- Unfold questions in a logical order.
- Begin with simple questions that clients may find interesting and engaging.
- Place sensitive questions (like budget) at the end of the survey.
- Provide example responses.
- Tailor questions towards the client's niche and organization.
- If in doubt, outline the purpose of the question in the introduction part.
- Adopt a comfortable question sequence for your clients.
- Test a pilot.
Last but not least
Web design survey is not the end of your communication with the clients. It is just one of many steps to ensure the best relationships. Therefore, remember two important things:
- Do not be shy to clarify things.
- Ask for all resources you may need. This may include brand style guides, links to competitors, marketing strategy, examples of marketing campaigns, company portfolios, and others.
Creating a website is an exciting event for the clients: they make grandiose plans and put so much hope into it. As for professional website design agencies, it is a true challenge that requires a whole endeavor and genuine commitment. It is here where every step should be polished. And everything starts with a well-thought-out website design questionnaire. It helps to take into account important parts, set a realistic deadline, meet the brief, match the client's expectations and build a strong reputation.