Good Design Starts with a Conversation


It can be really difficult for business owners to start on a new website design, especially if the current one is “functional enough.” But this is your business, and you shouldn’t settle for a site that’s just ok. So how do we begin to chip away at it? We start with a conversation.


Choose the best way to connect

I prefer to speak with clients on the phone; it’s just a better mode of connecting for me because I find it a faster and clearer. If videoconferencing is better for you, run with it. Connecting clearly with your client is key to getting the information you need to start working. Once I’m on the phone with them, I have specific questions I like to ask.


Questions help you zero in on the design elements

I like to ask my clients about themselves: what do they like to do, what do they think is an important part of their personality, etc. Then I ask about their business and how their business ties into who they are. Once the conversation opens up, I have four standard questions I always ask:


  • Where do you want to see your business 5 years from now?
  • What was your previous experience like with other designers?
  • What are brands and companies you like? Dislike?
  • Who is your average customer?

The better you know your client, the better chance you have at creating something that really resonates with them and their audience.


Put your listening ears on

Questions only serve you well when you are ready to hear the answers. Don’t waste this time you have with your client - you only get one shot to hear them for the first time. These are the things I listen for when I ask questions:


  • If/when they sound excited about an aspect of their business, or other business they praise
  • Hesitation or struggles with answering questions about their own business—this may mean they need more help in really defining what their brand is


Try not to fill in the blanks for them, but gently guide them to reveal their answers. If they have trouble with a specific question, try re-structuring it in another way or go back to it at a later time.


Last step: follow-up

Always call back or email with follow-up with questions for you client to make sure you’re on the right page as you work. Filling in the blank can be a dire mistake when you’re 3 days into creating logos and your client has no idea where you got a certain color, or graphic from.

Have questions or want to collaborate? Drop me a line here.