Every successful design project begins with understanding the clients’ needs, and once you develop this understanding, you are a master of your industry. In this article we discuss Why You Should Design For Your Client and The Industry.
If you look closely at the definition of business, identifying customer needs and fulfilling them is at the core. And establishing yourself as a thought leader in the industry comes secondary.
Why Is It So Important to Gain Clarity on Client Requirements?
If you understand your client’s requirements, you are already halfway through the project. But many designers are overconfident about their expertise and think that every design that they would suggest would be digestible by the client.
However, it is a completely wrong approach, and they end up leaving their client unsatisfied.
It shows that the designer or the agency you are dealing with is a novice regarding the ideation of the concept.
How Can You Develop an Understanding of the Client Requirement?
When it comes to developing an understanding of client requirements, you can begin by creating a clearly stated Business Requirement Document (BRD).
This document will contain all the crucial details of the projects; you can refer to during the development stage of the design project.
You have to be more curious about the end goal. Collect every necessary detail possible from the client until you are satisfied with the query being addressed.
However, if the client is unclear about expressing their needs or confused about certain vital aspects, keep yourself far-sighted at every stage.
Have a vision of predictability to a certain extent so certain mishaps and faults can be kept at bay. It ensures efficiency, better performance, and results on time.
Another important approach is to narrow down to gain clarity in terms of features and functionality of the design.
Have some space for analysis using feasibility study of the design suggested by the client on each minute requirement.
You will get an idea of what is possible to implement and what is not. And, these are the major responsibilities and roles of the design agency.
Now, the best way to incorporate this approach into your design strategy and understanding the client requires asking more questions!
Questions You Should Ask Your Clients.
Here are a few questions that should be asked by clients.
What’s the budget?
The very first question you should ask your client should be budget-related. It is the most crucial information is that you should never leave it on to a later stage and better to avoid last-minute meetings by asking the client to extend the budget.
Be clear with what you have and create a strategy that accommodates the budget well and don’t let it be underused or overused anywhere in the process.
What’s the timeline?
The next thing to understand the project is to know the timelines in which you have to deliver the project. So, you don’t have to hassle at the last minute to complete.
If your client doesn’t initiate anything about it, it is better if you recommend the course of action based on your experience. This way, you will find out what works for them.
Develop Familiarity With Your Client’s Business
What is your business?
Try to understand the client’s business in the client’s own words. It will help you know what matters most to them and gain familiarity with your client’s practice.
Even in self-explanatory businesses, like software development, they understand the values the clients emphasize and how they describe their business.
It will help you see the business from their perspective and this way your designs will reflect their values and personality.
What makes your company stand out?
The purpose of asking this question is to know the USP of your client’s business as to what sets your client apart from their competitors.
Don’t confine yourself to just the product or service itself, but also ask about the whole package, including any added value or services they are offering.
Considering that added feature or value of the products or services, you can include a section dedicated to it in the design.
This can make the website design more unique that perfectly relates to a particular business style.
Find out whether the business has been around for a while or is starting. Also, find out the size of the business, weaknesses, strengths, and work your way to have a holistic understanding of who they are.
Who are your competitors?
This particular question should be followed with research on your part. When the client names their main competitors, scroll through their respective online pages, blogs, websites, and other avenues.
Analyze their web design and try to correlate it with the market that your client is in. Also, consider a few common practices for their field.
Who is your ideal customer?
The audience that will ultimately browse through your client’s website will be their ideal customer, so, you must be clear about whom you will be designing the website.
Ask your client about their customer’s target audience, while considering the demographics – age, preference, behavior, sentiments, gender, etc.
Also, ask them what their customers like most in the product or service they are offered. Find out what they expect and what frustrates them the most.
It will help you understand the loopholes and quickly conduct the gap analysis before you move ahead with the design process.
Understanding Your Client’s Vision
What is the purpose behind building the website?
Try to understand what the client wants to accomplish with the web presence to make your web design meet your client’s needs.
Help them articulate their goals by providing them with a list of goals they want to accomplish such as increasing brand awareness, educating site visitors about their offerings, increasing conversions and online sales, or anything else.
It will help you to be more specific and narrow down your options while designing.
What features do you want to include on your website?
After gaining clarity on the purpose, ask your clients what they want their visitors to do when they visit your site.
Ask them whether they want their site visitors to book their offerings online, read a blog, sign up for a newsletter or chat with a customer support representative.
Be specific with these features and it will help you eliminate unnecessary elements from the design.
What are your favorite websites and why?
Ask your client about their favorite websites and ask them to send links, with a brief explanation about what they like the most about them.
Quickly it’s not down to the common points in each of the website designs and what you can create for your clients.
Make it clear to your client that you are using it as an inspiration and not copying from anywhere.
Understand the Company’s Existing Design
Do you have an existing website?
What do you like and dislike about the existing design?
The purpose of asking this question is to understand what bugs them. Is it the design or functionality, Incorporation of wrong features, or bandwidth?
If your client is using Google Analytics, analyze the data and take notes of what pages site visitors linger on most, and what makes them abandon the website?
Are you active on social media?
Having a presence on social media is similar to having a web presence. Knowing on which social platforms your client is active will help you understand what doesn’t work for client communication on social media.
You can take inspiration from the way the customers communicate with your client and incorporate the same into the design of their new website.
If you see customers posting their queries in the comments section, then you can introduce live chat support on the client’s website as well.
Also, ask them if they want their website to link to any active social media handles they are active on.
Do you have a style guide or any existing images?
The purpose of asking about the style guide that your client might be following is to understand the visual language that is carried across their PowerPoint presentations, social media, and stationery.
Moreover, it will help you understand the existing aesthetic and look-and-feel that your clients would like to see on their website.
Create a website design that matches their visual language and ask them whether they are satisfied or prefer to change it in any way.
Also, ask for images or photographs that they may already have. Use these photographs or images on their new website; it can turn out to be a perfect fit.
So, having talked about all the necessities in understanding the client-requirements, the agency must incorporate whatever adds to value for the client and aid their growth.
Contributing towards the design aspects considering the functionality and intuitiveness is the need of the hour.
It is essential for the sustainable growth of the business and let your client stand out amongst the competitors.
For this, the agency that is involved in the designing for the business has to make sure that they design for the client and not to establish themselves in the industry.
And, that’s when we can consider it a win-win situation.
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Sidharth Jain, Proud Founder of GraffersID, Website and Mobile App Development Company based in India. Provide dedicated remote developers,. and UI UX designers. Trusted by startups in YC, Harvard, Google, Coca-Cola, 80% Clients raised funding and scaled their team in a week. He understands how to solve problems using technology and contributes his knowledge to the leading blogging sites.