We receive tons of requests for quotes to develop, redesign or edit websites. One thing we’ve found is that the vast majority of those who request websites, especially those who require websites designed and developed from scratch provide very little information on exactly what they’re looking for.
Over time we’ve made use of a wide variety of methods to pin down exactly what our prospective client is looking for in their new website.
Web Project Needs Assessment Meetings
We believe a face to face meeting is a very important step in getting a clear, unambiguous picture. Even so though, meetings need a framework in order to produce results and in many cases casual conversation about what the client might want can still end up producing a very vague picture.
Web Project Outline Forms
As with many agencies we’ve also had our fair share of forms and questionaires we’ve used to varying degrees of success. In some cases forms are just way too cumbersome for clients to read through with way too many options, in other cases projects have extremely unique and complicated requirements which cannot be catered for 100% in a questionaire.
Our 4 Point Website Project Needs Assessment
We’ve trimmed the process, both meetings and questionnaires down to 4 main areas of focus. These are easy to understand areas, broad enough to cater for almost any kind of web project and specific enough to give ourselves and our clients clear boundaries to work within.
- Purpose – Project Goals and Aims, what are they trying to achieve
- Content – Text, Images & Other media like video, audio, presentations, diagrams
- Design – The Aesthetics, color, texture, typography, style, imagery or graphics
- Functionality – What must the site do, what actions site visitors can perform
The Areas specified above are purposely vague to allow our clients to express their ideas more freely. Once we have a better idea from the above 4 points, we can decide whether to proceed with a more extended questioning process, whether a meeting will be required or if it’s safe to proceed immediately.