Being able to communicate effectively with clients is easily one of the most important aspects of being a web designer. The communication process starts immediately as you’ll need to learn what the client wants and expects from you, and as you get to know more about their business. The need for communication will continue through every phase of the design process as you and the client work together to create a site that will be effective for the business. After the design is completed, it’s likely that you’ll provide some customer support at least occasionally, so the need for good communication will always exist.
In this article we’ll take a detailed look at the topic of communicating with clients. Many of the tips that are mentioned can apply to communication in general, but the article comes specifically from the perspective of a designer/client relationship.
1. Start with a Solid Foundation
Communication is of critical importance during the early stages of the client process. At this time you will need to get to know the client’s business as well as possible. You’ll want to understand the products and services that they offer, their corporate culture, and what makes them unique to their customers. Additionally, you should get a solid understanding of their customers and what they will be looking for when they arrive at the website. It’s also important to understand the client’s specific goals for the website, what they wish to improve (if it’s a re-design) and what they need to get out of the site.
By taking the time up front to communicate with the client and to build this solid foundation for the project you can save time and avoid miscommunication later. It’s a good idea to have some sort of intake process that you go through with clients to get through this stage, it can help to make sure that you don’t miss out on any important points.