What questions should be answered before you start new design work for a client? Well, for one its always best to have a small list of questions ready for your client to answer. This way your going into the design understanding what their expectations are and you're not shooting in the dark. This can cause for a lot of frustration on both ends being that A) it's not what the client wanted and/or B) you've already spent a lot of time on the design. It's most likely both A and B, as designers we are eager to just get right into designing before we fully understand what it is the client is asking for.
As a designer, we should always learn to listen and understand first, and allow time for questions. Then design, because if we don't fully understand the idea as to why the client is needed a specific poster or flyer or landing page, then we wont be able to effectively do our job in designing something that solves their issue.
Which leads us to the first question....
What is the problem that you are trying to solve?
Every job inquiry is based on a specific need that they are trying to get met. Figure out what the need is and it will allow for better designs to be constructed.
For example, are they in need of a complete redesign? Maybe they want to revamp and venture to a new target market. Or are they in need of a single marketing piece for a upcoming event. You'll need to figure this out so you know what you are designing for.
What are the goals you wish to accomplish?
Each job has a different expectation - its best to really understand what they need accomplish to be able to effectively design something to achieve their goal.
For example, is their goal to reach a broader audience, maybe even sell more to their existing clients in a new creative way that they haven't tried before?
What is the budget you are allowed for this project?
Determine a budget will help you in terms of factoring the allocated time to spend on the job. A budget of $100 vs a budget of $10,000 is a big difference and changes what is expected out of you as a designer. More money = more time spent to make the project outstanding.
Who is your target audience?
Knowing this information allows the designer to know which design methods work best for which demographic. If you have analytics it helps to identify or at least give you a target range of your audience. Each demographic is attracted to different marketing styles so it'd be bad to design for an older audience when your trying target a younger audience.
Any examples of designs that you like?
Getting an idea of designs that the client already likes helps in gearing similarities to your own design. Adding elements from designs that they like allows for their likes to be considered while also designing to those that are the actual audience.
In conclusion, its important to get all the information before designing for better results. Don't jump to designing then ask questions - thats just working backwards and takes up time and money from both the client and your self. Give your best in each design so if you need more then the above questions don't be afraid to ask more to get a better idea of what it is the client is asking for.
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