Website design is an equal mix of functionality and attractiveness. There is no point in an amazing design that’s hard to use, or one that’s functional but incredibly dull. When a client comes to you they often have their own set of expectations, which are sometimes unrealistic.

Before you even begin to think about the design, you need to establish what the client is expecting. Communication is key when it comes to designing a website. So aside from knowing what the company does and who their intended audience is, you need to ask these five key questions.

What’s their budget?

Before you waste time and resources creating amazing interactive designs, ask your client what their budget is. Because you may find they cannot afford what you initially designed. By establishing a budget before discussing design and feature ideas, you can be realistic in what you can offer them.

Do they need to update the site themselves?

It’s essential that you ask this as it determines the structure of the website’s backend. So how often will the website need updating? Do they have a lot of events? Do they plan on writing their own blog? You need to know exactly what your client is intending to do with the website after it’s finished. If they plan on making a lot of content changes themselves, but aren’t blessed with your technical knowledge, they need a website that’s easy to update.

Do they need different versions of the site?

Many businesses are looking to expand their website onto other platforms, such as smartphones and tablets. So ask them if they are considering this before you start, as they may expect a traditional website to work on a mobile phone.

What are their competitors doing?

Most companies will be aware of their competitors’ online presence when considering a website redesign. So ask your client what they think their website needs to compete with similar companies.

What’s the deadline?

Ask your client what deadline they had in mind, and be honest with them if it’s unrealistic. It’s easy to forget that people don’t always understand how long a website can take. What may appear to be a small feature on the frontend can actually mean a lot of work on the backend. Let your client know how long to expect their desired website to take. And try not to give a specific date – promising something for the 5th July and delivering it on the 30th is not going to reflect well on your business.

Jaselyn Melling…..