Great web design consists of the application of left-brain scientific principles to fundamentally ungovernable right-brain creative inspiration. Itâ€™s like putting a harness on a wild animal. As disciplined as this field is, the seed of any great web design consists of something fundamentally indefinable â€“ an emotion, a feeling that washes over us, a sense of who a client is deep down inside and what they are trying to accomplish in the world.
So the first step in creating any design is:
Know thy client
Who is he? What is he trying to do with his website? Sell a product? Communicate an idea? Create a community? Improve customer relations? Change the world? Enthrall you with fashion designs?
In your preliminary interview, donâ€™t just try to capture a clientâ€™s specifications (such as this corporate colour, that font, the logo, what images appeal to him/her).
Try to find out who they are at a personal level. At some point, talk about the weather. Talk about their family, friends, hobbies, what movies they have seen lately and what they thought of them. Create a social avenue of communication. Such a personal approach may seem off the wall to someone used to a corporate environment but significant clues at to what the final web design is going to look like will come out in these personal conversations. There is something indefinable that happens â€“ something subliminal is communicated.
Of course the backbone of any web design is to ask the right questions so you have the information you require but the personal observations you make during a social conversation are going to make the difference between designing something good and designing something truly Great.
As to the questions you should ask after a personal connection has been made, here is a comprehensive list: