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Question time?

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by Kev Clarke, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. Kev Clarke

    Kev Clarke Member

    Hi Guys,

    Having just started to work freelance mainly from the comforts of home i am after some much needed general advice and help to keep it going. I have had a few meetings with clients that i have sourced locally and have found this no problem, however with people approaching me through the web or phone it is here i need a helping hand.

    I have seen on a previous thread that fellow freelancers will email a questionnaire out to clients so that they can get a better idea of what they require from the design, rather than numerous phone calls and emails, before the design process has even started, which i think is making me seem unprofessional?

    If anyone uses or has applied this form of interrogation to their clients can you please let us know what sort, or examples of questions i should be asking to make them talk and open up about their requirements?

    Cheers guys!
  2. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    I'd suggest to just think of what your ideal design brief would consist of, and then look at extracting such information from your client.

    I'd suggest questions looking at aspects such as;

    - What does the business do/messages wanting to be conveyed/target audience etc
    - What are they looking to get out of the material and do they have any past materials you can have a look at

    Then you'll want the finer points for your actual design;

    - Will images and copy be provided, the required dimensions, any particular styles or designs desired/want to be avoided
    - What sort of schedule or deadline are they anticipating

    The more information you can get to form your brief the more likely it is that you'll produce something that they will be happy with first time.
  3. Minuteman Press

    Minuteman Press Moderator

    Having been client side for many years I have never received a questionaire.

    Personally I would feel most uncomfortable - unless it was due to country geography or a language related issue. The norm would be a meeting (clients or designers - client choice) - an informal information collection by the designers.

    Helps to build a relationship on both sides (and client confidence).
  4. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    Absolutely agree: I think it's an impersonal and ineffective way to communicate.
  5. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    I like clients to email me about their company, history of the company, how they see themselves / in what light they want to be seen in.

    This is I add just to start the ball rolling. It does not replace client meetings or telephone calls and direct personal contact of any kind. It can't and NEVER should. It is just a starting point form where to start your research so that on that initial meeting you are prepared with your own research and also a self assessment from someone at the high end of the company you are dealing with.

    In this regard I do not accept it's a bad way to handle the situation. It gives you a head start by preparing you with questions and responses during the first client meeting, thus saving them money in the long run, as I do not pitch for free, I charge by the hour.
  6. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    Fine, but I maintain that the kind of information we're talking about is better shared, steered and interrogated in a dynamic forum than through written Q&A; if I asked a client to complete a questionnaire I'd feel like I was generating unnecessary paperwork and hassle for them, particularly if I then wanted to go through it all in person.

    Still: different people, different approach is all.
  7. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    They're only questions I would ask them at the meeting. By the time I get to the meeting I don't need to ask them the same questions as I have the answers to them questions, I just get the the crux of the meeting. By doing this I am saving them money. I don't charge them for answering my questions so they are getting that for nothing and in the meantime I am learning about their business. I don't see how that can be a bad thing.
  8. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    Like I say, fine, but in truth you're only really saving them money if their time (i.e. the time spent filling in forms, which I generally find to be more time-consuming than an interactive discussion) isn't worth anything.
  9. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    lol ok. right again.

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