The thing is, it took me awhile to realize something really important:
I've been building websites all wrong.
This is because I started off asking my clients the wrong questions.
I’m not entirely to blame here though because the thing about websites is that they have become such a commodity product that it has altered the method of doing web design. It’s gotten to the point where even the designers feel like they are reading from a fast food menu of design options.
When I was in school and was learning the ins and outs of design, I was told that the most important thing you can do is research prior to starting to develop any type of design. From there, I entered the world of freelance and reality was a little bit different than what class told me.
When you freelance, it's easy to fall into a position of just doing what people ask. You can become a glorified order taker where Client 1 shows up, says they want a logo, they try to be specific, you give them that, they pay you and you move onto Client 2 that comes through the freelance drive-through.
Of course, there are varying degrees of this process because there will be revisions, but all and all, it's really a rush to get into as many done as possible to get onto the next one in what begins to feel like a quota system.
However, for the client who feels they just need a website – any website – and for the designer, this is throwing away the biggest value a designer adds to the website development process.
Too often, as business owners and entrepreneurs, we are "too" close to our own business and can't see the forest for the trees. We are trapped in this daily pitchforking that is moving CLIENT01 through the process so you can move on to CLIENT02.
A design professionally shouldn't just drop your combo website meal in your lap, grab the money, and run. Instead, they should ask a lot of the RIGHT questions. For example, they need to learn about your business so they can best provide you with the proper solutions for your business.
Essentially, designers and developers can become great partners in helping grow your business. Expect a lot of questions. Some may seem odd, but these are what help a creative be who they are and do something spectacular for you that stands out from all the other websites in your industry or business segment.
Now, let’s start with my list of questions…..
If you are a small to medium sized business we know you're busy and you just need your site to pull its own weight and drive great leads that ultimately turn into sales.