Getting to know your client is an important part of determining if you’re a right fit for the project. Not only that, but you should always ask questions before-hand to compile information that you will later use to accurately design a website or logo for them. If you quote a client for a project without knowing what it truly entails, then you’re setting yourself up for the possibility of loosing valuable time and money.

Now we know that asking questions before you begin a project is vital, but what about after you’ve completed a project? Although this may seem somewhat insignificant it’s actually an important step to finalizing the completion and delivery of your project. Below you will find various questions that you can ask your client, even though you may not use every single question, make sure you select the ones you believe both you and your client will benefit the most from.

Questions to Ask Before You Begin a Project
Generally these questions are asked before you begin a project, however, you can also ask some of these mid-way through your project as well. Analyze your clients answers and get to work with the information you’ve put together.

1. What Kind of Business Does Your Company Run?

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.

2. What is Your Company’s Reputation?

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.

3. What is Your Typical Customer Like?

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.

4. What Is Your Target Audience?

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.

5. Do You Have Any Competitors, if so, How Do You Differ?

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.

6. How Often Would You Like Me to Update You With Progress?

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.

Questions to Ask After a Project’s Complete
These questions can be asked right before your deliver your project, or immediately after it’s complete. The purpose of the following questions to make the transition from the beginning of the project to its completion as smooth as possible.

9. How Satisfied Are You With the Results?

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.

1o. Do You Plan on Having Any Revisions and Updates Done to This Project?

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.

11. Would it Be Alright for Me to Place a Link to My Portfolio on Your Site?

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)

12. Can I Showcase This Project As an Example In My Portfolio?

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.

14. Do You Have Any Questions of Your Own?

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.

Got a question about this article? – Ask it here!

  • Pingback: 14 Questions To Ask Your Clients Before and After a Project | Expertz

  • http://www.carl-topham.com Carl

    Really informative and interesting article. I especially agree with 11 & 12.

  • http://www.hilario.lu/ DJaVuPixel

    Really good article, I really should do it for my projects and I think the client will feel that we are professionals.

    @Carl why would you especially agree with point 11 an 12? This points are more for advertising yourself than giving your client a value.

  • http://www.redesignyourbiz.com/ Maverick

    disagree with most of the points (point 2, 6, 7, 11, 12). and some are unnecessary and just simply repetitions.

    one of the most important thing to ask is for a list of sample websites that the client would like their website to look like. coz there are some weird people who like some really crap website for reasons that only they understand… i am not joking, am serious.

  • http://junkiee.net Nina

    Totally helpful, will definitely use with my next client.
    Thanks for posting :)

  • http://1900tr.com/blog garyb

    I disagree with with most too, (2,3,4,5,) waste of time if you do your homework from question one. question 6 is silly, you tell them when you update.

    If you want to do 11 & 12 it should be in your contract.

    I agree with @Maverick,; ask for some website they like.

    You forgot an important question, What is their budget?

  • http://websterdesigns.net Adam Webster

    This is a very nice post I have bookmarked it for future reference.

  • http://www.maiconweb.com Maicon Sobczak

    Essencial questions. I’m with you.

  • http://designi1.com designi1

    Nice post!!!!
    This 14 ask questions are important some more then others but to start a design project you need to talk with the client in side other of the question:

    Its our jobs defining the Golds of the project with the client… we need to ask them what is his issues, and why he need that work, or what problems he ´ve in his company…

    You make a list of problems…

    by then you start your work defining with your clients the best option to solve the defined problems!

    analyze, search and find the solution :D

  • http://www.userfocus.co.uk David Travis

    These are a good set of high level, strategic questions. If your readers are also interested in specific questions to ask clients about the user experience they want to create, they might find this article useful:

    http://www.userfocus.co.uk/articles/dragon.html

  • http://www.dannyfoo.com/blog Danny Foo

    I still stumble business owners who can’t define between themselves and their competitors during consultation.

    All because they assumed, a website just needs a design.

  • http://graphicdesignblender.com Preston D Lee

    This is an excellent resource. Thanks for sharing! I especially like the follow up questions that help you get a better feel for what to do better with clients in the future.
    – Perhaps your readers would also be interested in

    “55+ Questions to ask when designing a logo”

    Here’s the link:
    http://graphicdesignblender.com/55-questions-to-ask-when-designing-a-logo

    Thanks!

  • Pingback: 14 Questions To Ask Your Clients Before and After a Project | Lively Design Tuts

  • http://www.jayphilips.com Jay Philips

    Great list of questions. I agree with Danny, there are some companies that I have worked with that aren’t sure where they line up.

    I also ask how they are doing the process now and what their current issues are so I can try and help resolve the current issues.

  • http://www.mariepoulin.com marie poulin

    Some good points, but not drafting up a contract should not even be an option! Don’t get burned, use a contract always, without exception!

  • http://www.zachrodimel.com Zach

    Great Questions to ask! I’m going to start using this as a guide and implement some of these into my proposals Thanks! Also, list of sample websites that they envision theirs resembling at the end might be another question.

  • http://www.octane.uk.net/ Wayne Smallman

    Some sound advice here, which many freelances and business owners would benefit from reading.

    As an aside, I’ll be writing an article of my own, that’ll be an expansion of some of the points covered here.

  • http://solar-gardens.com danielle.spot

    Being in the middle of the website creation process on a new retail site I would have had difficulty answering your 14 questions They are very helpful to most design processes with slight variations. It would be interesting what you see as the questions your clients should ask you .

  • http://webdesignbysteve.com Steve Shearer

    @Maverick – I agree, I always ask them to send me sites they like. Here’s more questions I ask:

    ? Do you have a price in mind that you are hoping not to exceed?
    ? Will you be selling merchandise/services over the internet?
    ? Will you be needing a database structure (client contact, record automations, etc.)?
    ? Do you have a logo or artwork that will be used in your new design?
    ? Do you have a website address (a dot-com name) for this website?
    ? Do you have hosting services set up for this website?
    ? Do you have your web copy (the wording) written?
    ? What do you expect to accomplish with this website?

  • http://webdesignbysteve.com Steve Shearer

    This comment box allows but doesn’t post all ascii characters – my bullets turned into question marks. Too bad …

  • Pingback: links for 2010-02-25 « Tagalog Online Pocketbook

  • Pingback: Blog » Blog Archive » Important questions to ask your clients

  • http://www.martinlucas.co.uk Martin Lucas

    I already ask many of the questions you’ve got there for before the project – but never thought of asking questions after the project has finished. Might start doing that.

    Thanks.

  • Pingback: Blog | Christian Vermeulen Multimedia Design & Development » Blog Archive » Important questions to ask your clients

  • Pingback: 8 Questions To Ask Your Clients Before a Project | Webmaster 9

  • Pingback: 7 Questions to Ask After a Project’s Complete | Webmaster 9

  • Pingback: Perguntas ao cliente para antes e depois de um projeto | desenvolvimento para web

  • Andrei

    Great Article… However, I disagree with some points (1,2,3,5…) You are supposed to know this in the first place, since before the client meeting you should have done your research already. Research is very important because the client would feel more important and would want to do business with you more. Basic questions is a NO-NO in a client meeting. Research is part of your job.

  • http://www.theloudfew.com Robin Rath

    Great post, thanks for sharing. I plan to pull some of these questions into some of my questionnaires.

  • http://www.absolutecovers.com Ovi Dogar

    Very useful and informative article!

    Good job! ;)

    Ovi Dogar
    AbsoluteCovers.com

  • Pingback: 13 preguntas que hacer a un cliente antes y después de un proyecto web - Rubén Guerrero Blog

  • AdamSok

    Very good article. Certainly can be adapted and used in many service/project oriented fields. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pingback: Asking clients the right questions | Web Design, Internet Marketing and Business Advice » Octane

  • Pingback: 5 Effective Tips for Conveying The Right Information to Clients | Spyre Studios

  • Pingback: How to Communicate With Your Clients | Design Reviver

  • Pingback: How to Communicate With Your Clients

  • Pingback: Pattern Inc » How to Communicate With Your Clients

  • http://www.faridhadi.com Farid Hadi

    You should consider using a Project Planner or a Project Worksheet, which could be something similar [to Questions to Ask Before You Begin a Project] but a lot more detailed.

    I also think you should be clear about #10 before starting the project.

  • http://www.discretech.com Robert John

    Nice article. I liked the first question to the client of what kind of business do they run.

    in addition, it is also informative to ask the client if they have any understanding how a website should be made and maintained.

    it is important that we inform them of the critical points we put into their account regarding development and future site maintenance. It will be informative for them to know their future responsibilities as owners of their professional website.

  • Pingback: How to Manage your Interaction with Clients - WebsitesMadeRight.com