Aug

21

2013

How to Evaluate Web Design Agency from Its Pre-Proposal Questionnaire

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“A questionnaire can tell a lot if you are ready to listen”

Questionnaire usually arrives when you have already made up your mind about web design service provider. You are impressed with website, previous works, success stories and promises made. Even the price seems legit.

In such a pleasant scenario, why would one look critically at a two-page document sent for basic inputs?

Why not just scribble answers quickly and let the work begun?

Well, you can obviously do that but it would only mean letting go a golden opportunity to evaluate your design partner for the last time before investing money.

Benefits of doing this;

Two goals can be achieved by giving a critical eye to the sent design questionnaire;

  • Queries raised and information sought in a questionnaire could be used to gain insights about hired company’s approach towards designing.
  • With a careful glance at the questionnaire and earlier discussions in mind, one can crosscheck the authenticity of impressive design-talk already made.

Let’s list some set of questions that will give you a fair idea about potential design experts;

(Note: Please remember that central idea of the questions matter rather than the way it is phrased).

General;

1) Comment on following to give insights about your target audience;

  • Age group
  • Gender
  • Technical expertise
  • Internet connectivity
  • Purchase power

2) What is the purpose of your website?

  • To expand beyond your brick and mortar model
  • To generate leads
  • Online selling
  • To create awareness
  • To build your brand image
  • After sales support

Both questions are very basic in nature but tell a lot about company’s work approach and industry knowhow.

Information sought in the first one clearly aims to get a fair understanding of demographics associated with target audience. Age group and easy with technology will help in reaching a decision about functionality. Gender on the other hand can determine overall personality and color scheme.

Second question tries to understand client objectives so that design elements can be developed with the same in mind. Generating leads and creating brand awareness are two entirely different objectives. Hence, it helps if design agency is prior aware about purpose.

Conversion sensitive;

1) How do you want customers to contact you?

  • E-mails
  • Contact Us forms
  • Mails to a postal address
  • Live Chat
  • Telephone

2) What will be your marketing strategy to reach your customers?

  • PPC
  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Content marketing
  • Through your physical stores
  • E-mail marketing
  • Traditional marketing

Every website comes into existence to achieve a predetermined goal. Most of business oriented ones want to leave a mark on their customers and get leads. The website design has to focus on the ones that are most appropriate as well as desired by the client.

In the same way, if client is aiming for business mileage than mere web presence, then, discussion related to future marketing plans is vital. This helps the designers in creating scope to target appropriate marketing channels. In case client has social media promotion on his mind, creating space for social sharing buttons needs to be taken care of during design part only.

Branding related

1) Would you like to launch it as an extension to your existing brand name or with a new identity?

2) What do you think is your Core Competence/ USP?

3) Why people prefer to buy from you over other competitors?

  • Lower pricing
  • Delivery time
  • Brand name & reputation
  • User reviews & personal references
  • Certifications, awards & appreciations
  • Others (please specify)

There is no denying that branding is critical. While a new web business may wish to build its brand around pricing, other may like the homepage to be dominated by the quality of its offered products. The concept of separating the virtual brand from company name is also common.

Hence, a good design requires feedback and insights from brand positioning point of view. Such questions serve two purposes;

a) If the client has prior plans about branding, he highlights the same and design team works on the right path from the very beginning.

b) If client has not given little thought to branding, then, he certainly will have plenty of reasons to think about.

These are not the only questions that you should scrutinize though. Read between the lines while going through the questionnaire. For instance;

“Do you want a mobile version of your website?” reflects that the service provider has the expertise to develop mobile websites as well.

Similarly, look for cues related to professionalism, technical expertise, planning and global approach. Vague and irrelevant questions only escalate the chances of blame game after project commencement. This will not only lead to dissatisfaction but also financial loss.

A questionnaire reflects the industry beliefs of people it represents. So, if yours is not in accordance to the flawless aura of the hired agency, there is some serious thinking to do.

Being a web design agency with nine-years of industry experience, we at Ably Soft understand the importance of above highlighted questions & queries to cover branding & business objectives.

If you want a website to represent your business or online idea, discuss your needs with us to learn about our scientific usability focused approach to website design & development.

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