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Communication in Web Design

Good communication with your client before designing a site is crucial in making a website successful – from both the client’s perspective and the end user’s.

Most clients will have an image or idea in their mind, as to how their website should look and what it should accomplish.  As a web designer, you need to know how to ask the right questions and communicate your interpretation of your client’s responses to make sure you have a clear and correct understanding of the task at hand.

Some of the important questions to ask are:

  • What is the main purpose of the website?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What functions will be performed on the site?

We’ll look at these questions in more detail:

What is the main purpose of the website?

(What purpose does this website serve for your client?)

  • an online brochure or portfolio
  • selling a product
  • creating brand recognition
  • provide customer service and support
  • obtain customer information through subscriptions or memberships
  • educational resource

These are a few examples of what your client might be looking for, but typically, a website serves more than one purpose and you need to determine them and set priorities for the website.   Have your client number the goals  identified, according to their importance.  From that, determine where the hierarchical focus will be in the design.

Who is the target audience?

Because internet users view information from such a wide variety of devices and with multiple browser options these days, it is important to determine who your client’s target audience and how they may be accessing your client’s website.  This information is crucial in making sure the website and it’s content are accessible to the right people.

What functions will be performed on the site?

After determining the purpose of a website, you need to communicate effectively with your client to know what functions may need to be performed on the site (i.e. search tool, email subscription form, shopping cart, interactive map, etc.)

For more information on this topic, read the article  Clear and Effective Communication in Web Design by Stephen Snell

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