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Ryland @ Stackbit
Ryland @ Stackbit

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9 questions to ask nontechnical folks before working on a project

1/ What's your website do today?

Encourage them to complain about what's frustrating them. Learn their true problems.

Once done, repeat their problems back to them.

2/ What does your ideal website accomplish?

Wrong Answer: "It gets more customers."
Right Answer: “It enables us to sell our products to people who live far from our store location.”

Learn their ideal end-state. Repeat it back to them. They'll love hearing you understand.

3/ Can you tell me more about X?

Keep them talking with phrases like:

What do you mean?
Why is it done that way?
How do you like that?

Extract as much as possible about their pains, needs, and use-cases.

4/ Who's responsible for design?

Clarify that design is separate from development.

Are you responsible for design? Do you have to find the person? Are they giving you a design?

5/ How many different component & page layouts?

Devs are infamously optimistic.

Use the number of layouts to help estimate your project timeline.

You should overestimate the time you think it'll take on every project — even double it! You may still be under.

6/ Who's responsible for content?

Content is a beast of its own.

Make sure it's crystal clear exactly who owns content creation. Add that to your estimates.

7/ What 3rd party services will we use?

It's likely they won't have an exact answer.

Audit their existing site, propose services based on their needs, and recommend tech based on what their in-house teams may be using.

8/ How will we communicate during the project?

Check-in consistently — even if you don't have an update.

Simply message them, "No new updates since we chatted last." They will appreciate it and you may get new info from them.

9/ Offer multiple tiers.

Offer 3 tiers of solutions from "everything and more" to "just the basics."

Let them move items around and customize their own tier. This will help you land more deals because you give the client flexibility.

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Thanks for reading!

If this helped you, let me know by giving the article a like. :-)

Also, I'm building a website builder for NextJS. If you're interest in testing it out email me at ryland@stackbit.com.

❤️ More articles to come!

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