Two Questions I Ask For New Sites

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It’s hard to help someone realize their vision for software and the web. Finding out what clients really want is hard, especially when you need to do it over email.

After going through this a handful of times, I’ve come up with a pair of questions I ask anyone who wants help with a site. The answers (or non-answers) reveal what a person wants, without being overwhelming:

  1. In ten words or less, and with as little technical language as possible, what is your goal?
  2. What sites do you like?
Question one sets the tone of the entire project. The less web-ish the response the better. I don’t want answers like “have a blog” or “build an online store to sell my shoes”. I want things like “I want to connect with fellow marble enthusiasts”, and “I want to double my shoe sales”.

Question two goes a long way in aiding in design. It cuts out a great deal of the back and forth that would happen if we just sat in a chat going “so what do you want?”, or showed a slew of artsy fartsy “concepts”.

It’s amazing what you can do with answers to just these teeny questions. You’ll be 75% on your way to making your client happy.  

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