The Design Consultation

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Advice and requirements for a website designer/client consultation.

Advice and requirements for a website designer/client consultation.

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  • 1. CM350 WEB DESIGN FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION The Design Consultation The Crucial First Step Bruce Clary, McPherson College, McPherson, Kansas
  • 2. CM350 WEB DESIGN FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION A design consultation is a meeting between the client and designer that helps determine what the client wants her website to accomplish and what she wants it to look like.
  • 3. CM350 WEB DESIGN FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION First things first… You are a communication professional—write, speak, and act like one.
  • 4. CM350 WEB DESIGN FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION The initial contact • Email your client and briefly introduce yourself. Yes, this should be formal, even if you know your client well. • Provide your cell phone number. Let them choose how you will communicate. • Make scheduling the consultation during the week of Jan. 13–17 the only business of the first email. You must be the flexible one!
  • 5. CM350 WEB DESIGN FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION The follow-up contact • • Confirm the appointment time and place. Concisely and clearly explain what the client can do to make your consultation as productive as possible.
  • 6. CM350 WEB DESIGN FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Ask the client to be ready with… • Any content that he already has that might be helpful: logos, graphics, text, photos, print materials. This content should be digital, if possible. • A vision for the website’s purpose. What does he want his website to do? What does he want the website to communicate? • Some websites that he likes.
  • 7. CM350 WEB DESIGN FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Dynamics of the consultation The consultation is all about the client and what she wants, but you are the professional: You are in charge. Be ready. Be organized. Know what you need.
  • 8. CM350 WEB DESIGN FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Consultation Agenda: Goals • What are the client’s goals for the website? What does she want it to accomplish? • What are the most important messages to be communicated?
  • 9. CM350 WEB DESIGN FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Consultation Agenda: Design • Does the client have a vision for a certain look and feel? • What personality or character does the client want the website to communicate? • What websites does the client like? Why? What does like about them? • Get three to five key description words or phrases from the client.
  • 10. CM350 WEB DESIGN FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Possible Keywords • • • • • • • Energetic Professional Warm Conservative Modern Youthful Confident • • • • • • • Serious Mature Traditional Cutting edge Sophisticated Elegant Friendly
  • 11. CM350 WEB DESIGN FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Consultation Agenda: Expectations • Be willing to generate content, but be realistic with the client about what you can do. • Temper any expectations for technical bells and whistles. No blogs, for example. Limited animation. • Assure the client that you are going to create the best website possible within the tight timeframe of the course.
  • 12. CM350 WEB DESIGN FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Consultation Agenda: Audience • Discuss the primary audience. How does the client see that audience affecting the look and feel of the website? • Are there any special accommodations or features that should be made or included for the primary audience?
  • 13. CM350 WEB DESIGN FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Don’t leave without… • • As much content as possible • • Design keywords • Thanking them for working with you! A clear understanding of who is responsible for any additional content An understanding of how much interaction the client wants or doesn’t want to the development phase