This again is a good information request that forces the client to start thinking about his message and how it should be presented. A typical list may look something like this:
- Product specification
- Features and benefits
- Case history
- Customer testimonial
- Available options
- Competitive comparisons
The list may be short or long – it doesn’t matter, just get the list. Now you have to ask the client to place the items on the list into an order of significance or importance. For example, if the product pricing is very competitive when compared to competing products or services, price will rank higher on the list. Maybe the product features are better than anything else on the market. If so, features and benefits achieve a higher ranking. Just go through the list until you have a rank for each item. What you now have is an itinerary for the website journey that will make page organization and content far easier to develop. Higher ranking pages can be promoted earlier in the website journey than the lower ranked pages.
Now, in just three questions you have sufficient information to start roughing the initial site design. You now have to ask a couple more questions that will enable you to apply a “Graphic Design” to the site, safe in the knowledge that the client will be reasonably happy with your first attempt.
NAME A FEW SITES THAT YOU REALLY DON’T LIKE – PARTICULARLY ANY SITES THAT ACTUALLY ANNOYED YOU.
The answers to these questions will give you a fair indication of what type of site presentation is likely to impress your client, and what presentation styles will completely turn him off. Behind the scenes, a closer inspection of the sites listed will give you an inside track on the client’s preferences for colours and design. Clearly, the colours in sites that the client likes will be colours that invoke a good feeling in your client, while colours in the sites that he didn’t like are more likely to invoke the opposite feelings.
On a purely commercial note, you must also ask your client how much he or she is prepared to spend on website development. Whatever the figure given, you can simply divide it by the acceptable hourly rate that you’re happy to work for in order to determine the man hours that you can put into this particular project. If the result of your quick calculation shows that the customer will want his site developed in say 2.5 man hours, you have to decide if that’s possible. If it isn’t, you have to negotiate a higher budget with your client. If, however, the budget gives you ample development time with a commensurate level of financial reward, you will be able to safely accept the assignment.