Questions to Ask Before a Website Kickoff

These questions should help your team get your digital project started with a solid foundation.

Posted by on 28th Sep 2019

A simple questionnaire can go a long way to establishing a solid foundation on which a digital project can be built. User experience designers and team members tend to be experts at user experience research/design and digital product production and generally aren’t experts in the businesses and fields that their clients exist within. Clients come to UX teams because of their expertise in the user experience field, but a key component of successful user experience design is understanding your client’s business. This is why knowing what questions will lead the team to the best information about a client’s business is paramount when creating a pre-kickoff user experience questionnaire.

Below are some examples of questions that can be used in a questionnaire and how they help the project start strong.

What is your business and what is your primary source of revenue?

Understanding what your client’s business is (from their eyes) is how the team can begin to establish empathy with the client stakeholders. Understanding how their business makes money is important as everything that is being built needs to serve that purpose, because if the business makes no money, it won’t be a business for much longer.

What are the factors that prompted you to begin this project for a new website/app?

This question helps the UX team understand why the client is approaching your team in the first place. Answering questions while relating back to the answer from this question will help the client stakeholders understand why the UX team is doing what it is doing.

Who are the top 3 businesses you compete with?

Where the client’s company exists in the business landscape is also an important piece to understand. Knowing what other players in the marketplace are doing successfully and unsuccessfully. This can help establish what common things need to be done consistently and what should be avoided.

What are your competition’s top strengths and weaknesses?

Knowing where the competition is strong gives the UX team something to potentially address if the client’s product is significantly similar, whereas knowing where the competition is lacking allows the UX team roads to give their client’s product more impact within the marketplace.

What differentiates you from your competition What makes your business unique?

This helps the UX team understand what the client’s UVP or Unique Value Proposition. This simple bit of information can go a long way in establishing what makes the client stand out in the marketplace and how it can be marketed to benefit the business.

How do you define a successful website/app?

Understanding how a client defines a successful website is incredibly important, as when the project winds down and it comes time to deliver, the answer to this question is what the product will be weighed against. This answer provides the UX team its initial project goal and target.

Please provide 3-5 measurable website/app goals?

For instance: increase % of newsletter sign ups, double products sold through online sales. Like the previous question, this gives the UX team specific metrics to meet with their new product. Using a variety of analytics and reporting software, this is where the team can gauge success of the project and adjust things moving forward to better achieve those metrics.

Describe who your customers are (age, jobs, education, etc.)?

The core to which all UCD (User Centered Design) projects revolve around is an understanding and empathetic relationship to the digital product’s user. Knowing how the client views their users (customers) gives the UX team an initial glimpse of who the important project users are. This answer will invariably need to be dissected during the kickoff and validated with user interviews/surveys, but this question provides the jump-off point for those conversations.

This is just a selection of example questions that can be used to start establishing a foundation for your project to be built upon. Each digital project has different requirements and the pre-kickoff questionnaire should be tailored to each client’s project specifically. For example, when dealing with the construction of applications (apps) its important to understand what types of devices users are using as to not waste resources developing native applications that will not be used by the majority of users.

While this list may not be exhaustive, hopefully it will provide your team with a starting point to start thinking about you client’s business and building a strong foundation for your digital project.