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  1. #1
    Not now, I'm kinda busy. pdxi's Avatar
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    Designers: What do you want your prospects to know?

    Hello,

    Being a web developer as a freelancer and consultant, I know that it's much easier to deal with clients who have experience with purchasing professional services. I know the particulars of this type of exchange, i.e. it's much easier to work with clients who have hired programmers in the past, it helps if the client has some technical or industry knowledge, etc.

    I may consider hiring a designer for a project sometime in the next six months. I know nothing about the particulars of this kind of exchange. So, designers: What do you want your clients to know before they come to you with a job? What kinds of questions do you want them to ask? What kinds of difficulties do you often run across that you wish clients knew how to avoid?

    I'm looking forward to learning more about what you guys do. Let me know!

    Thanks,
    Jeff

    Note: I forgot to mention that I will be the client in this exchange; the the end product will be for my own use.
    Last edited by pdxi; Nov 21, 2006 at 09:47. Reason: Added some information
    Jeffrey Hunt, freelance PHP & MySQL developer
    Resume: http://www.jeffreyhunt.org/resume/

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tyssen's Avatar
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    I imagine some of it would be what you already ask your own clients:

    Why do you want a website?
    What does your company do?
    Who's your competition?
    What do you want the website to do?

    Other questions a designer might ask:

    Do you have a logo already? Will you require one? Will you need printed material featuring this logo as well?
    What sort of style/theme/feel are you going for?
    What message do you want to convey?
    What are examples of some sites you like (also competitor's sites)?
    Do you have/need photographs? If you don't have them but want them, how are they going to produced? Will stock photography suffice?
    Will you need alternative stylesheets (other screen print, handheld)?

  3. #3
    Not now, I'm kinda busy. pdxi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyssen
    I imagine some of it would be what you already ask your own clients:

    Why do you want a website?
    What does your company do?
    Who's your competition?
    What do you want the website to do?
    Tyssen,

    Thanks for your reply. I guess it might help if I clarify what I do. I'm currently not in the business of developing websites. I primarily develop applications and utilities for internet businesses. My clients come to me because they need to have software written for them, not because they need to have an informational website built for them. I mostly build software for the Web, not websites to help people bring their brand onto the Web.

    Because of this, I ask questions like "do you currently have other business processes that will tie into the application we are developing", rather than "who are you hoping to sell to". So, I'm not versed so much in laying out the requirements for products that are meant to elicit a particular response from the viewer.

    The other items that you laid out are incredibly helpful, though. Thanks!
    Jeffrey Hunt, freelance PHP & MySQL developer
    Resume: http://www.jeffreyhunt.org/resume/

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard LiquidReflex's Avatar
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    The main question I am looking to have answered from a prospective client is:

    What is reason you are looking to do X, Y or Z?

    Basically ... why do you want a website, why are you looking to re-design, what are you looking to accomplish, etc. I feel that to be effective in any project you have to know the goals ... the whole reason they are doing it. If you don't know this, how can you expect to achieve it and make the client satisfied? You may think they want a re-design because their old site looks bad ... but in reality they are looking to establish a mailing list for marketing purposes. If you didn't know this, how do you know to intergrate the subscription option throughout the site (instead of just the front page) or adding calls to action throughout the verbage to entice them to sign up? Sure they're site may look better, but if the site isn't designed to achieve their goal, what was the point?

    So basically, I will spend most of my time talking with a prospective client on what they expect from the project and the goals they have once it is complete. Only then can I truly know what the project will entail and how to make them 100% satisfied.
    Kevin Hauge : Modern Leaf Design : Follow Us on Facebook
    Client Axis v.08 - client / project management script

  5. #5
    Not now, I'm kinda busy. pdxi's Avatar
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    Kevin: Thanks for the great response. It really helps.

    I think I'm starting to understand this a little better. I want to be a "good client" when it comes time for me to hire someone, and (Tyssen and LiquidReflex)'s input is very informative.
    Jeffrey Hunt, freelance PHP & MySQL developer
    Resume: http://www.jeffreyhunt.org/resume/


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