Although you — and the client — may have a general understanding of what will be involved in getting the project done, the details and process of starting a redesign project can be elusive.
Here we focus on developing methods of communicating expectations and making sure there are no mistaken assumptions.
The ones who take the time to answer your questions in a thoughtful, well-organized manner are likely to put proper thought into the creation of a site and have the makings of a good client.
Clients who exhibit a number of red-flag-client characteristics (see chart below) are sometimes better left alone.
The answers will serve as a reference for nearly every step that follows.
The first part of this first phase is all about gathering information.If this is the case, the Discovery process can be shortened and details incorporated into the Project Plan and Communication Brief.For more technical projects, especially those that require complex functionality (and therefore a backend), anticipate Discovery and Planning taking anywhere from a week with one tech-savvy person to several weeks or months with a team of engineers. On the whole, Discovery can take one week or many weeks, depending upon budget and approach.Overkill is not required, but some advance planning is necessary in order to operate efficiently instead of haphazardly.We have divided this first phase of the Core Process into three tracks: Discovery, Clarification, and Planning.Clients usually have clear business objectives, but are notorious for not having clear site objectives. The Client Survey (available for download from should be a straightforward distribute/collect/analyze process.Distribution of the survey is the very first thing to do with a redesign project — with any web development project. Recommend to the primary client contact that the Client Survey be distributed to all decision-makers.If you are in-house and you know the company and industry well, certain basic questions can be eliminated and more in-depth questions added.In fact, if you are the project manager on an internal team, you may be filling out the survey yourself. The Client Survey asks for in-depth, but basic, information necessary for general site redesign.If you head an internal team, it is probably your responsibility to manage the Client Survey's distribution, collection, and consolidation.The Client Survey should be customized to be client- or industry-specific.