WEB105 » Defining the Project 1

Defining the project is a step that most young web designers don’t realize they need to do. If you do not clearly define your project, you are doomed to fail.

Hey, Ron… Does this answer your question?

A) Discovery

Discovery is the sub-phase where you begin to understanding the client, the project and needs of the users. Some of the topics that you will cover are:

  • What are the client’s wishes and goals?
  • How much time is the project going to take, what is it going to cost and how is it all going to be broken down?
  • Who are the team members and their responsibilities?
  • What are the client responsibilities?
  • What are the long-range goals for the website? What are the short-term goals?

The answers to these questions will serve as a reference for nearly every step that follows.

Each website project should be viewed through a lens of “what can the site do to help the Client achieve their goals.”

Some of the Client’s goals may include:

  • increase in-store/on-line customer traffic
  • increase sales
  • highlight a new product
  • decrease calls to customer service
  • streamline browsing and purchasing
  • create a dynamic content driven site (e.g. WordPress)
  • create a scalable structure for future growth

The Client Survey

The Client Survey will help you articulate and identify the overall goals of your website (re)design. Once filled out it will be your key reference point for information regarding building your website:


Web Redesign: Workflow that Works 2.0 – Client Survey

  • Clients are notorious for not having clear site objectives—here’s you chance to help steer them in the right direction
  • The survey can and should be customized to be industry and/or client specific
  • The survey can also be used as a client screening tool

The Client Survey Clarifies:

  • Site goals – what are the overall goals of the site redesign
  • Audience – what are your audience demographics and user profiles
  • RE-Design issues – old vs. new
  • Tone – what is the desired overall tone being communicated
  • Scope – what are the project boundaries
  • Maintenance – what is the client’s vision for future site updates
  • Contacts – who is involved and how in this project

This portion of the Premium Design Works website is written by Mike Sinkula for the Web Design & Development students at Seattle Central College and the Human Centered Design & Engineering students at the University of Washington.


  1. Julie Edwards says:

    XKCD strip – what goes on a university home page? http://xkcd.com/773/

  2. Victor says:

    Just a reminder to change this…”How much time is the project going to cost,” under Discovery

  3. Jack says:

    Good stuff on how to avoid bad clients


  4. Lisa Zefkeles says:

    I just created an on-line form for my client survey using google docs. I just cut and pasted all the information from the pdfs here (make a few changes) and added a theme. Super easy! Now I have a professional looking form to send to my clients. I will do this for all my surveys!


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