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Suggestions for the first interview


Your first meeting with your client is crucial in defining the nature of your relationship during the project. Both you and your client will take away from this meeting opinions and expectations of what is to follow. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Prepare. Do your preliminary research. Look at the client¡Ás website and take notes. In all of these instances, the client had no hand in the design (and probably only some input on the content!), so being critical is less important than being knowledgeable about what¡Ás there.
  2. Listen. Let the client do a lot of the talking. Ask open-ended questions like "what is the most important thing about ________ to you?" or "If you could achieve one thing with this website, what would it be?"
  3. Take notes. Not detailed transcription. Listen for key words that recur. Listen for "theme."
  4. Occasionally, provide some summative follow-up. "So it is important that the site provide a lot of information?" Or "so it is important to you that the site highlights student achievements" etc.
  5. Set some goals. Don¡Át leave the meeting without agreeing that you are going to do some specific things:
    • Agree to send the client a follow-up on the meeting (Client Interaction Report).
    • Identify two or three specific tasks that you will complete before your next meeting.
    • Determine a good time for the next meeting.

A few other thoughts:

  • More than one person should visit the client¢¨especially for theme and concept discussions. Group, if you send only one person you are relying solely upon that person for all of your basic input on the project. Many ears hear different things.
  • Even if only one or two of you go, introduce the rest of the team to the client so they are not strangers later in the process.
  • Diligently document your work.

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This Page was last update: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 at 6:26:42 PM
This page was originally posted: 2/15/05; 6:26:42 PM.
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