Are you asking the right questions to your clients before starting a UX project?

November 05, 2021

While starting a UX project, We all ask the basics questions, such as

  • What color schemes do you have?
  • Are we designing it for web or mobile?
  • When do you want this project to be delivered?
  • And, of course, how much are they willing to pay?

But are these the only questions we really should be asking? It could be good initially, but will you go down a dark road when you have no idea where it is going? At least I won’t.

This is where UX Discovery comes in place.

UX discovery is a tremendous and crucial first step, but not if you’re too afraid to ask the hard questions.

Planning a discovery session with your client is a preliminary phase that involves researching and identifying their problems, clarifying their goals/priorities, and matching them around a shared vision of the proposed solution. It will allow you to effectively identify the universe you operate, which will help you define the userbase needs and align them to your client's goals.

The discovery phase's real purpose is to bring your client’s knowledge and aspirations to the table by asking the right questions: those who will lead to the exemplary information architecture, the right design, the right strategy, in a few words, the right digital experience.

Here are 22 questions that you should ask your clients:
  1. What is the purpose of designing this product?
  2. Who are the primary decision-makers of this project?
  3. Who are the users or the customers?
  4. Why is this important to them? Why should they care?
  5. What are their weak points?
  6. What is the problem or need we are looking to solve?
  7. To better understand your users' pain points, do you have customers we can connect with regarding your product?
  8. What is your business model?
  9. What is the business opportunity? (lead acquisition, sales, referral, showcase, information, etc.)
  10. What are the key performance indicators (KPIs)?
  11. How does this website fits into the overall strategy?
  12. Are there any constraints (technological, commercial, etc.)?
  13. How are you better than our competitors?
  14. Are there any relevant sites we can review?
  15. Is there any documentation already available (personas, user feeds, etc.)?
  16. Does a style guide exist?
  17. Who are your biggest competitors, and what are your concerns?
  18. How do you hope to differentiate yourself?
  19. What motivates you the most towards the users?
  20. What assumptions do you think you are making about the users?
  21. What are the most common problems faced by the users?
  22. How will you, personally, define the success of this project?

Take notes as you get all the discovery information. As the potential customer progresses along the buyer’s journey, you should always return to your notes and refer to their pains.

Pro tip:

  • Don’t ask multiple questions at once
  • Build rapport and reassure your customer
  • After the call, follow up with a recap email with your notes. It helps establish yourself as a true consultant, not just a salesperson.