Target Audience & Feature Requests4:19 with Pasan Premaratne
Once you have understood what the client’s background and motivations are, it’s time to ask questions about the most important customer segment - the target audience. The audience, along with the features of the website, is what you will devote most of your time to as a freelancer and is quite important to understand.
Click here to download a list of possible questions for your questionnaire. These are a sampling of the possible questions you could ask your client, and they have been compiled from many sources around the web. There are by no means a comprehensive list and you should always include questions that are specific to the project if possible.
[Pasan Premaratne] Once we have a clear picture of our client's motivations and goals, 0:00 we need to think about the client's target audience and what they could gain out of the site. 0:04 At the end of the day a website is built for the customer. It achieves a certain goal of the company, no doubt, 0:09 but it will be used by a customer. 0:15 So it should be built with that audience in mind. 0:17 Our next set of questions will seek to understand more about the client's target audience. 0:19 The first thing in this section is understanding who your client's target audience is. 0:25 Who are they? What kinds of things do they do? What are their tastes and their preferences? 0:30 In what ways do they use your client's products? 0:36 Try to paint as clear a picture as you can of who the target audience is before you start working on a project in any way. 0:39 All these factors will help influence and lead the direction of the project. 0:47 Next ask them what emotions would they like their customers to feel when using their products. 0:52 Even if they can't explain what they want on the site, clients can explain what they want their customers to feel about their product 0:57 or when they use their website. 1:04 Find out what these feelings are and how you can emulate them in your project. 1:06 What is the primary action the user should take when coming to your site? 1:12 And what does the client want the customer to do when landing on the website? 1:16 Do you want to make the user buy a specific product or do you want them to sign up for a newsletter? 1:20 Tie the desired audience actions in with the client's goals or outcomes for the website. 1:25 After talking about goals and audiences, you can start to talk about what the client really wants to talk about— 1:32 and that's website features. 1:36 There's a couple things to keep in mind here. First, be very upfront about the development effort and the cost of building features. 1:38 Second, don't try and get the client to suggest how the website should be built. That's your job. 1:46 Your task should be to take the problems that the client has and convert them into specific solutions. 1:52 If you were a doctor, you wouldn't ask your patient to tell you what medicine you should prescribe him. 1:58 Instead you would ask about their symptoms, pains, and problems, and then offer a solution to remedy it. 2:03 You're doing exactly the same thing. 2:10 So when you talk about feature requests, try and get an idea for things that will make or break the project, 2:12 but don't give the client the impression that their dictating the look and functionality of the website. 2:18 Ask them what do they not want on the site. 2:23 Often times clients won't know what they want on the site, and that's why they're hiring you; you're the expert. 2:26 But clients will always know what they don't want, what they don't like. 2:32 It might be easier for you to get them to list out these features that they're against having. 2:36 This way you can offer solutions that are more in line with what they desire. 2:40 This will also save you a lot of time from developing features that the client mentions, but then later says that they don't like at all. 2:44 Ask them where the website content is coming from and who is responsible for updating it. 2:52 Content on the website is very important, and it's what will complete the package. 2:56 The website could require large amounts of text, marketing messages, photos, and logos. 3:01 All this stuff needs to be given to you. And you need to figure out who is involved so you can get all that information from them. 3:06 Lots of projects can get held up because you need certain information but don't know where to get it from. 3:13 Figure out who is responsible, and get in touch with them immediately. 3:19 Another thing you will want to find out is who is responsible for updating this content on the website and how web savvy they are. 3:24 This allows you to understand the breadth and depth of your proposed solution. 3:31 Will you need to implement a content management system, for example? 3:35 Then ask them how the site is organized. 3:39 Do you need to figure out how the site is implemented on your own or will they provide a site map for you? 3:41 These are questions that eliminate unnecessary or additional work down the line 3:46 because you weren't provided with the relevant information. 3:50 Ask them if there are any sites they find compelling. What specifically do they like about these sites? 3:54 Most clients know or should know their competitors' websites. 3:59 Find out what they like and don't like about them. Clients also have a few sites in mind that they really like. 4:03 Try and understand why they like these sites to give you a basic idea of the designs they have in mind. 4:09 All right. That was it for the fun stuff. Now it's time to get into the administrative details. 4:14
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