Designers need design client questionnaire to ensure the design process is smooth. It helps save time and ensures both you and the client are on the same page from the onset and end up appreciating the final product.
Luckily, design projects have similar requirements—whether it's web design, logo design, graphic design for a publication, or an interior design project. Design styles and the design process may vary but the design elements and principles are mostly the same.
Whether it be for coming up with a web design or any interior design client questionnaire (specific to your design work). these will help you ask the right questions.
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20 Things Should Include In A Web Design Client Questionnaire
1. Client's business background
You need to know the background of a company—whether it's big or at the inception stage. This will help you know what the client is looking to achieve with the design.
2. The purpose of the design project
One of the most important questions to ask a client is why the company needs the design. Always have this question at the top of your questionnaire and, dig deeper before you start designing!
3. The goal of the design project
Your design client knows the important role design plays in reinvention, branding, marketing, and other areas. To complete a client's project successfully, know if they're looking to rebrand, market a product, etc. That should give you the outline or areas to focus on.
4. Brand colors or palette colors
For brand consistency, find out if your client would prefer to stick to the colors on the logo or if they have other colors that they use on their business designs. Along with that, find out the style they like and what elements they would love to add to ensure there's a good balance between the colors they like and the design they want. It might be their favorite color but will it work for that design project?
5. Brand message
Nike's Just do it slogan is a good example of brand messaging. It helps everyone represent the company, and remember the bigger vision. This way, you'll know what and how to communicate to their audience to ensure brand consistency.
6. Business name
What's the business name? This seems like a straightforward question but it's not. Some companies have established branding and prefer to stick to it. They are even particular about how their name or trademark appears. However, some are flexible. It can be the same brand but they wish to work with a colloquial name in a particular project to reach a given target audience.
7. Business slogan or tagline
Some companies have popular slogans or taglines. You can say they capture the company's mission statement but in a few words. The slogan is their "stamp". It's easier to market other products from the company if they just brand them with the slogan. Ask about it.
8. Unique Selling Point (USP)
Every business has its own way of packaging their business to their target audience to create a sense of superiority in the industry. Whether it's the elements they include in their design, their colors, or messaging, they raise the bar. It could also be a special service, or an extra mile that they go. Know it. Check out the "About Us" page on their website and ask questions along these lines.
9. Main competitors
Competitors offer the same services or products as your client. Ask your client questions that'll help you know how design or marketing affects their sales, what they think is the competitor's branding superpower, the brand message, if they have a special service that they'd like to shine a light on, etc.
Your goal here is marry your client's vision with what's out there to beat the top guys to the top.
10. Target demographics
Who is your client's target audience? If you're to get the attention of potential clients, you not only need top service or product but also know how to present it. But how can you do that without knowing your customer? The design will only resonate with them if you "speak their language".
11. Preferred typography
Topography is an important design element. You want to know how your client wants the text arranged for it to be both legible and beautiful. They expect your great advice as the expert even though most clients do their research online and come to you with suggestions.
Sometimes they like a design concept but they don't know how it'll work for their own design. For example, if the audience comprises children, you need simple typefaces. If it'll work, great. If you have a better suggestion, explain to them.
12. Preferred font
One of the questions you need to include in your questionnaire is the font a client would prefer. Every business has a personality. Some even go as far as having a designer create a unique font. Coca Cola is one company that uses a mix of fonts—Google fonts, Gotham, Trade Gothic, and such on their logo. They never stray too far from the original Spencerian font. Ask: which font works best for your business? Sans Serif, Calligraphy, Serif or Display Font?
13. Must have elements
Some of the questions you might have on a graphic design client questionnaire for a graphic design project might not necessarily appear on an interior design client questionnaire because some design elements work or interact differently.
For instance, interior design clients who are only familiar with 2D graphic design might not appreciate 3D spatial planning and how the elements interact in 3D. Find out what they know about the important elements.
First, you need to ask questions relating to budget (if the client is planning on buying images or using the royalty free images that are online. Talk about copyright, just in case. Second, if you're coming up with an interior design questionnaire, have the client describe how they envision the project.
If they can share their ideas in a detailed design concept, even better. It'll take confusion out of the project. You'll avoid making too many corrections—which sometimes makes you feel you underquoted for the service.
15. Web copy
It's not uncommon to meet clients who only have a general idea of what they want their site to look like but are not armed with a great website copy. It's especially common with clients who are looking at creating a new website for a service or product. Or those wanting to change their current site because their business portfolio or company has expanded. A web design client questionnaire will help you know what they want for the new website.
While a discovery call is a great idea, you need an equally good web design client questionnaire to ensure you refer to minor details that you might easily forget. You might also want to read up on copywriting because what good is a website with great design but a weak copy? Some clients will also keep revising the copy, making your work difficult. Ask if it's the final copy...
16. Design samples
A client might describe one thing, only for you to reproduce something else. To avoid that, ask for visual examples to better understand the client's vision for the design work, ask questions that will bring out the ideas the client has, their preferred style and so on. You can always visit their website to see what they got.
17. Where the design will be used
The purpose of the design determines how a graphic designer approaches it. A marketing collateral like a brochure might require different specifications from a branding design for online marketing.
For instance, if an artwork is to be printed on different materials or different colors, the designer needs to factor that. Also, for a design meant for print, you'll need to check the DPI while for a design that will be shared on screens, you'll check the PPI. Ask your customer the medium on which they intend to use the design.
18. Most successful marketing campaigns to their target audience
Ask your client about this too. It will give you a clue about the designs that appeal to their target audience, the marketing strategy to apply in your design, and the messaging.
It'll make it easy for you to come up with a design that resonates with their clients and help you complete the project without too much back and forth.
How much time can they allocate you to complete the project? It's not unusual to meet clients who expect so much from you yet the deadline for the project is thin. Those Google forms that clients fill will save you. If you can't pull it off within the time they're asking, let them know.
It's a good idea to slide a question that'll help you know their past experiences with designers too. Can they describe most of them as an "enjoyable experience"? Was deadline one of the issues? If you see a red flag, run!
No one likes tackling this topic but someone has to. Find out if the client knows the industry rates. Including this question in your design questionnaire presents the opportunity to revisit the budget even if you had talked about it before. It's your opportunity to find out what clients really expect.
If they have too many requirements or expect endless revisions, you'll know how to quote for the job to strike the right balance between giving them what they want and getting paid for your time and effort.