13 questions for a better website
Our solution to a common problem for Web Developers
At The Technology Studio we have lost count of the number of times we’ve been approached by potential clients with a brief that consists of nothing more than “we need a website – how much will it cost”! Even the better briefs we receive are often no more than a Word document listing the content the client could put on the site.
In our view this is like asking a builder to quote on an extension without telling them how may floors, rooms, bathrooms, windows or doors you need. Of course in the building trade this is used by some of the less scrupulous builders to their advantage as each additional feature that the client asks for is met with a rub of the chin, a sharp intake of breath and the response “that’s going to cost you – you didn’t mention that when I quoted”. Whilst this might work for cowboy builders we prefer our clients to want to work with us again! For this reason we only ever provide a quote once we have built (or been given) a full website schematic.
Of course often the client simply doesn’t know exactly what they want and extracting this information from a busy person with many other priorities can be a tricky process.
I read a good article in Smashing Magazine late last year that reviewed a number of approaches taken by web developers to extract the right info from clients - well worth a read if you are compiling your own questionnaire. This gave me the inspiration to review the questions we ask our clients - the results of which are below:
1. What business objectives do you have for your new website?
2. How will you measure the success of your website?
3. Who are the target audience for your website?
4. What actions would you like your target audience to take on your site?
5. What other marketing activities will be supporting your website?
6. What information do you want to provide your target audience and in what format?
7. Have you got any plans for attracting your target audience to your site?
8. Who are your main competitors and what are their website addresses?
9. Are there any websites in your field that you like and specifically what do you like about them?
10. Are there any websites in your field that you dislike and specifically what do you dislike about them?
11. What content do you have that can be used on your website?
12. Have you done any keyword research?
13. Do you have any other digital presence?